SOURCE: National Cooperative Business Association

National Cooperative Business Association

September 10, 2012 13:00 ET

NCBA Launches First-of-Its-Kind Cooperative Mobile App to Help Consumers Shop Locally & Live Cooperatively

CooperateUSA Mobile App Offers Access to 29,000 US Cooperatives, Meets the Needs of Consumers Looking for Values-Based Businesses

WASHINGTON, DC--(Marketwire - Sep 10, 2012) - Consumers wanting to shop locally, support values-based businesses and find affordable alternatives to for-profit businesses in their communities now have access at the touch of a button with the new CooperateUSA mobile app and online directory.

CooperateUSA.coop and the CooperateUSA app are free resources developed by the National Cooperative Business Association (NCBA) in partnership with Co-operatives UK and National Cooperative Bank (NCB) to provide access to 29,000 US cooperatives in a variety of industries, including credit unions and financial service, grocery and consumer goods, healthcare, childcare, housing, transportation, utilities and more.

"Cooperatives continue to outperform for-profit businesses when it comes to consumer satisfaction and now consumers have a free resource at their fingertips that will enable them to experience the co-op difference firsthand," said Liz Bailey, interim president and chief executive officer of NCBA. "It's never been easier for consumers to shop locally, support values-based businesses and create jobs in their local communities."

The CooperateUSA mobile app is free and compatible with Apple and Android smartphones and tablets, offering a variety of features including:

  • Locator that makes it easy to find 29,000 US co-ops by location, industry or product type
  • Gaming features that tally points for cooperative activities and award prizes and discounts
  • Timely updates that keep you informed about cooperative news, events and local offers
  • Education on how co-ops are impacting job creation, affordable housing, healthy food access & worker empowerment 

The CooperateUSA.coop online directory offers a co-op locator to search nearby co-ops or co-ops nationwide and provides information and web links to each cooperative. The site also provides the latest news about cooperatives, information about cooperative development and facts about cooperatives in the US.

"National Cooperative Bank is thrilled to be a part of the CooperateUSA mobile app," stated Chuck Snyder, President and CEO, NCB. "Many people shop at cooperatives and purchase co-op products everyday without knowing much about cooperatives. This tool helps build awareness of this successful business model and makes it easier than ever for consumers to live cooperatively."

CooperateUSA Meets Needs of Consumers Who Rank Cooperatives Higher Than For-Profit
Consumers rank cooperatives higher than for-profit businesses on several measures of quality and service, according to a recent study by NCBA and the Consumer Federation of America. The study found that nearly 80 percent of consumers believe cooperatives can be counted on to meet the customer's needs and 74 percent believe co-ops have the best interests of the customer in mind.

"This survey illustrates that cooperatives remain a trusted choice for millions of Americans who appreciate organizations that put the needs of the consumer first," Bailey said. "Now more than ever, consumers want an alternative to businesses that focus only on the bottom line."

Cooperatives are values-based businesses dedicated to the needs of its communities and members -- the people who use the co-op's services. Good at creating local jobs, keeping wealth in our communities and weathering tough economic conditions, cooperatives have recently been in the spotlight as a more sustainable model than for-profit businesses.

About National Cooperative Business Association (www.ncba.coop)
National Cooperative Business Association (NCBA) is the national association for cooperative businesses providing cross-sector education, support and advocacy to help start and grow co-ops across a variety of sectors, including agriculture, childcare, energy, financial service and credit unions, food distribution, healthcare, housing, retail and telecommunications. For nearly 100 years, our mission has been to develop, advance and protect cooperative businesses demonstrating that cooperatives are a better business model for advancing economic and social impact. For 50 years, we have supported cooperative development globally through our CLUSA International Program.

About the International Year of Cooperatives (www.usa2012.coop)
2012 was named the International Year of Cooperatives by the United Nations. A yearlong celebration of the co-op business model and its positive economic impact across the globe, reminding us that it is possible to pursue both economic viability and social responsibility.

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