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What is a co-op?        

There is no universally accepted definition of a co-operative, but in general, a co-operative is a business owned and democratically controlled by the people who
use its services. The user-owners are called members and they benefit in two ways
from the co-operative:

  1. the more they use the co-operative, the more services they receive, and
  2. earnings are allocated to members based on the amount of business they
    do with the co-operative.

A co-operative is an organization owned
by the members who use its services.

Co-operatives can provide virtually any product or service, can be either a non-profit or for-profit enterprise and resemble other businesses in many ways. Although they have similar facilities, perform similar functions and follow sound business practises like other businesses, co-operatives are organized to serve member needs and are focused on generating member benefits rather than returns for investors.