WASHINGTON (9/12/12)--Consumers can now shop locally, support values-based businesses and find affordable alternatives to for-profit businesses in their communities with the new CooperateUSA mobile app and online directory.CooperateUSA.coop
and the CooperateUSA app are free resources developed by the National Cooperative Business Association (NCBA) in partnership with Co-operatives UK and National Cooperative Bank (NCB) to provide access to 29,000 U.S. cooperatives in several industries, including credit unions and financial service, grocery and consumer goods, healthcare, childcare, housing, transportation, utilities and more.
"Cooperatives continue to outperform for-profit businesses when it comes to consumer satisfaction and now consumers have a free resource at their fingertips that will enable them to experience the co-op difference firsthand," said Liz Bailey, NCBA interim president/CEO. "It's never been easier for consumers to shop locally, support values-based businesses and create jobs in their local communities."
The app is compatible with Apple and Android smartphones and tablets, and offers features that include:
- A locator to help find 29,000 U.S. co-ops by location, industry or product type;
- Gaming features that tally points for cooperative activities and award prizes and discounts;
- Timely updates about cooperative news, events and local offers; and
- Education on how co-ops affect job creation, affordable housing, healthy food access and worker empowerment.
"Many people shop at cooperatives and purchase co-op products every day without knowing much about cooperatives," said Chuck Snyder, NCB president/CEO. "This tool helps build awareness of this successful business model and makes it easier than ever for consumers to live cooperatively."
Consumers rank cooperatives higher than for-profit businesses on several measures of quality and service, according to a recent study by NCBA and the Consumer Federation of America. The study found that nearly 80% of consumers believe cooperatives can be counted on to meet the customer's needs, and 74% believe co-ops have the best interests of the consumer in mind.
"This survey illustrates that cooperatives remain a trusted choice for millions of Americans who appreciate organizations that put the needs of the consumer first," Bailey said. "Now more than ever, consumers want an alternative to businesses that focus only on the bottom line."