The Montana Cooperative Development Center (MCDC) and the Montana Council of Cooperatives are jointly sponsoring the third biennial study of the economic impact cooperatives have on Montana’s economy. This month, one-page survey forms were mailed out to all cooperatives in the state. Farm supply stores, telecommunication co-ops, and most other cooperatives are returning their surveys directly to MCDC. The Montana Electric Cooperatives’ Association (MECA) and the Montana Credit Union Network (MCUN) are currently collecting the survey data directly from their member utilities and credit unions.
Information gathered from the surveys include employment numbers along with salaries/wages and worker benefits paid out by co-ops during the 2015 tax year. Data on retail trade, state tax revenue and other community contributions is also being gathered from survey respondents. The overall results of the survey will be compiled this fall in a report that will highlight the economic impact of Montana cooperatives from every business sector. The report will be shared with Montana legislators, state and federal government officials to inform them of the important contributions co-ops make to Montana’s economy.
Respondents will remain anonymous as to protect the confidentiality of each individual cooperative. Co-ops participating in the economic impact survey have until September 15 to return their responses in the pre-addressed, stamped envelope provided with the survey.