CDI’s cooperative development specialists work with all different types of start-up and existing cooperatives and group based businesses in just about every sector and industry: consumer, worker, producer, and purchasing co-ops; food, housing and resident owned communities, energy, agriculture, arts, health, forestry, fisheries, retail, service and more. Our service region is the New England states and New York. Using in-house staff and contract services from professionals, we help clients assess business feasibility and prepare implementation plans; provide technical support and training for organizational, legal, governance, financing and accounting issues; and publish cooperative development information on our website and through periodic e-communications. We also encourage and support the development of networks of cooperatives and of cooperation among cooperatives, the sixth Cooperative Principle.
Every year we apply for a federal grant from USDA to operate a Rural Cooperative Development Center. This funding allows us to respond to any cooperative business inquiry from a rural community in our region and provide a modest level of free or reduced-fee hours. We seek other government or philanthropic funds in order to provide intensive assistance for start-up groups and non-rural groups that cannot afford to pay fees, and charge fees for services provided when appropriate and affordable.