As you may have noticed, a lot of local businesses are up for sale. PK’s, Hangar 9, Thai Taste, Pagliai’s…

One of the initiatives of the Carbondale Spring is the Cooperative Business Fund — a city-supported fund that can allow workers at various Carbondale businesses to purchase their workplaces and transform them into worker-owned coops.

But why would the city provide money to such a crazy thing when there aren’t even any worker-owned coops in town? What the heck is a ‘worker-owned coop’, anyway? Well, we can provide all sorts of links about that, but nothing convinces like the real thing.

So we are going to build one. We are pleased to announce that the Carbondale Spring has initiated a fundraiser to reopen Fat Patties as a worker-cooperative. With your help, the best burgers in southern Illinois will be back — and a demonstration project will be on the ground.

Not only that, but the money you donate will be treated as a loan by us at Fat Patties. We’ll be paying it back into the Cooperative Business Fund — a “revolving loan fund” (RLF) that will be paid forward to other workers who want to purchase their businesses. We will, of course, still be looking for other funds to add to this RLF. But we think the likelihood of that happening will be greatly increased by having the fund up and running already.

Thanks to everyone for your support for the Carbondale Spring so far. In the coming weeks, you’ll see updates to the website outlining our more developed versions of the four initiatives. And on September 8th, from 6-8pm at the Varsity Theater, we will be giving a presentation to the Carbondale community about our progress and how we can make this vision for the future of Carbondale a reality.

Thanks to everyone who has donated so far! If you haven’t, please donate to the Fat Patties Cooperative by clicking here.

We are just getting started…