Gnowangerup launches new co-operative
The tight knit community of Gnowangerup has come together to kickstart the local economy and the future of their town with the GNP 360 Co-operative.
In order to beat the trend of shrinking rural towns, a team of locals has been working over the past 10 months on a plan to invigorate and encourage life and vibrancy.
Secretary Cassandra Beeck said that in the past two decades the town had seen many businesses close their doors, including their last two remaining banks.
“GNP 360 was birthed from a group of concerned locals who wanted to do something about the decline of business in our main street and it started around a kitchen table in December 2017,” she said.
“Once, Gnowangerup had a bakery, a dress shop, a hairdresser and beautician, a newsagency, several banks and several other thriving businesses.
“Last year we lost our wonderful hairdresser and beautician who ran a very busy and profitable fulltime business when she moved away with her husband.
“These losses were the catalyst for GNP360 to get together to see what could be done.”
The new group plan to provide support and help in the form of low-cost premises for new businesses to start up and get on their feet.
The co-op’s inaugural project aim is to secure the long-term shopping convenience by procuring a building that will serve as an attractive shopping hub for a variety of potential industries in the main street.
Ms Beeck said that they like to see it as local businesses, supporting local people, supporting local businesses.
“We do not want to be forced into a position where we may have to drive to Katanning or Albany for basic supplies.
Eight directors will run the co-op and Richard House is the chairman. The initial term is two years and after this directors will be elected by the members in a nomination/voting process.
The new co-operative launched last Thursday night.