Celebrating cooperatives; October set aside to honor co-op business model

James P. "Pat" Howle, Executive Vice President and CEO

James P. “Pat” Howle, Executive Vice President and CEO

Please join us in celebrating cooperatives in South Carolina and across America during National Cooperative Month.

Every October, cooperatives are recognized for the qualities that make the business model unique: local democratic control, commitment to supporting the communities they serve and improving quality of life, special benefits and services, and the return of margins (the co-op term for profits) back to members in the form of capital credits.

Why it matters

Okay, so it’s National Cooperative Month. “Why should that matter to ME,” you might be asking yourself. Electric  cooperatives were formed during a time when rural communities were struggling. Times were tough. The farms, homes and businesses in the rural areas didn’t have electricity. Young people were leaving to find brighter futures in urban areas, leaving rural America in the dark.

Instead of waiting for someone else to fix the problem, the people in the rural communities turned to each other. They worked hard to build their own utility and power their own future.

Our economy has some critical hurdles to overcome and our faith in big institutions has been understandably shaken. While that doesn’t make many of us feel like celebrating, I think it’s the perfect time to remember and reflect on what we have already accomplished at the grassroots level through cooperation.

Cooperatives are a living testament to what can be accomplished when a group of people band together to accomplish a goal and strengthen their community.

A real difference

Electric cooperatives were created by members to do something no one else would do and we’re still answering the call.

We are locally owned and operated. That means we are able to focus on member needs and local priorities. We understand those needs and priorities because we live and work here. Our families go to church here, we shop in local stores and our children and grandchildren go to school here in Horry County.

The cooperative business model guarantees every member has a voice in business decisions. That voice is through your locally elected board of trustees. These representatives live in the communities and areas they represent.

Members of electric cooperatives can trust their cooperative because it was created not to make profits, but to deliver on the promise of providing safe, reliable and affordable electricity. We are accountable and strive to be responsive to the needs of our members and our community.

Please continue to keep in touch with us by reading South Carolina Living and tune in to our social media outlets to keep up with the latest news and information.

Thank you!

Questions?  Please call us at 843.369.2211. 

 

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