Co-Local™ is part of XENSHA, a worker-owned cooperative and Certified B Corporation®. We know that strong local businesses make communities more resilient. We've also seen firsthand the challenges that local businesses have competing with national chains and online vendors. We wanted to find a way to give local stores and vendors an advantage over the corporate giants.
Discount card programs are not new but have typically been very small in scale and open to any business that might be willing to join. Most often, these programs pop up on a temporary basis and then disappear.
More recently, crowdsourcing has created discount opportunities through platforms such as Groupon.
We take no issue with either of these alternatives, except that we see them as localized or occasional effects. We wanted to benefit local business communities as a whole. Co-Local is just getting started today. We intend to take it far and wide, and we envision that the same low-priced shopper membership will get people discounts everywhere they travel, and always only with locally owned businesses — no chains or franchises.
Why do we think we can make this work? In large part, because we are part of a cooperative. Plenty of good ideas start strong on principle only to shift towards profits as inventors demand returns on their investments. Our structure does not work that way, allowing us broad latitude to keep costs low.
Whether you're a shopper, business, or nonprofit, we hope you'll be part of this exciting journey we're taking. When communities are stronger, everyone wins — except maybe the big chains and online giants that make their money by draining it away from local communities.