The Community of Raasay Retail Association
HOW DOES YOUR COMMUNITY SHOP WORK and HOW CAN YOU SUPPORT IT
The Community of Raasay Retail Association, or CORRA for short, was set up in 2012 to buy the shop when it was under threat of closure, therefore safeguarding the future sustainability of life on the island. The buy-out was completed in September 2013, when we started trading under the name Raasay Community Stores. From March 2014 we were also able to take on the running of the Post Office.
CORRA is an IPS or Industrial & Provident Society for Community Benefit, in other words, a Co-operative Society that aims to bring benefit to the wider community – One member, One vote. Every penny of profit is not for anyone’s private benefit, but is invested back in the business.
CORRA has 260 members, who raised a working capital of £12.000 by buying shares. This made up the community’s contribution, which in turn helped to secure public funding (Village SOS, Princes Countryside Fund, Awards for All and HIE) to make up the £200.000 needed to purchase the shop, first year operating costs and refurbishment. Some of this was in the form of a loan that we hope, will be fully paid off by 2022.
CORRA is well on track to achieve it’s short term (first 10 years) goals– refurbishment and improved access have been successfully carried out and a sustainable business has gradually been developed. In November 2016 Raasay Community Stores were proud to beat off stiff competition to win the Plunkett Foundation Rural Community Ownership Scotland Awards.
Successful ‘Core Services’ such as the local shop, lead to a greater sense of community and increased determination that despite the occasional hardships, living on Raasay is worthwhile. Providing a social hub for the community is helping to build resilience on the island. The shop provides 6 jobs for islanders, thereby contributing to the island’s economy. Opportunities for volunteering lead to a means of social inclusion.
In the near future the CORRA Board will be addressing the medium/long terms goals, the aspiration being to develop the shop into a successful enterprise and to raise funds for a new purpose-built shop on a nearby site that will provide possible additional services such as a café, fuel supply, laundrette and tourist information.
HOW CAN YOU SUPPORT YOUR SHOP
SHOP LOCAL – Use your shop and use your Post Office!
We are blessed with an excellent staff team who go out of their way to assist you in any way. If there is something you would like, ask for it! Chances are that Davie can order it in. It may be a little bit dearer than in the supermarket, but think of the cost of a round trip to Portree or Inverness.
Become a member of CORRA.
This will make you a lifelong member, give you a say in how to take your community shop forward and have the opportunity to be elected in a representative role on the Board by becoming a Board member. Details and application forms are available from the shop.