Fund our Future FAQ
We are super excited about the opportunity to purchase the building, and we hope you are too. That being said, we understand that this goal may raise some additional questions for those considering whether to support our goal, so we've put together this page of Frequently Asked Questions to help clarify our reasons for purchasing the building our business is in.
Q: This is kind of like Kickstarter...why not use that or another online platform?
A: We want to keep it local. Those platforms are a great stage for start-ups that need structure and broad-reaching visibility to garner trust and attention. The OGE is a healthy, established business heading into our 20th year as Burlington's local gear shop - we have a network of customers and supporters that we can reach without the help of a Kickstarter or other crowdfunding platform. And by designing and hosting it ourselves, OGE maintains a locally-focused fundraising campaign, foregoes fees they charge to use the service and ensures that all money invested supports the OGE.
Q: How are you going to use the money you raise?
A: All funds will be applied to the building's down payment. This program reduces our debt burden with traditional lenders and allows us to extend the return on investment directly to our customers. The more we can "crowdfund" the more we are able to give back to our customers.
Q: Why not just go to the bank?
A: We'll need to use a traditional lender for most of the purchase but we wanted to further engage our customers in our future and grow loyalty. We could take out a larger loan from a bank or traditional lender and pay them back plus interest, but we'd much rather let our customers help out and pay them back with awesome gear and accessories.
Q: What kind of accountability is built into this program - how do I know you'll make good on your promise?
A: To quote George Michael - "Faith!" Just as with Kickstarter or any investment, the program requires an element of trust. We've built a successful business by making customer-first decisions and will continue to put our customers ahead of personal interests. OGE is invested in the Burlington community and is a reputable employer of over 90 people. The fact that we're established and have been around for nearly 20 years makes this less risky than other Kickstarter opportunities. Marc and Mike will honor all contributions with a personal agreement and guarantee that the initial support amount (less any already used credit) be returned should the real estate deal be unable to close.
Q: How will I receive my quarterly certificates?
A: We'll apply a payment each quarter for the appropriate amount to your in-store account. You'll be able to use that account to purchase gear, clothes, services, rentals, or even gift certificates to give to your friends or family. You will receive your first payment on March 1st, 2015 and every three months (3/1, 6/1, 9/1, 12/1) for the remainder of the payout period for your chosen level of support.
Q: How long do I have to spend these "certificates"?
A: Once we put the money on your account it will stay there until you use it. There is no time limit whatsoever.
Q: What happens if you don't meet your goal?
A: Even if we only raise $5 we're moving ahead with the real estate deal. It's a huge opportunity for the OGE, so we're making this happen regardless of the amount of funds we raise. We set the goal at $100,000 because we know that we can make this a win-win for everyone and can afford to offer generous rewards up to that point.
Q: What are your plans for the building?
A: Keeping it local and making it better! Buying the building ensures that we can keep our Church Street store open and make the space work better for us and our customers. We have ideas for environmental and efficiency improvements like bringing in natural light by adding new windows and adding a solar array to the rooftop to generate our our power. If we own the building, we have the power to make those improvements.
If you have additional questions about our mission to purchase the building, please do not hesitate to contact foudning owner Marc Sherman at [email protected].