I'm not going to go out on a limb and say that just because you join the Co-op means that we'll bring thousands of new, well-paying jobs to South Philadelphia. But it is worth noting that the Co-op would be a piece of an overall food system puzzle in which the owners of the enterprise (you) place a value on supporting the other pieces of that puzzle, which themselves create and sustain good jobs all over the region.
I bring this up because of a recent Treehugger piece which made the point about the job creation power of small, family farms. In fact, the numbers on the return on investment on many different programs that support these kinds of farms are staggering. A program meant to help tobacco farmers transition to sustainable farming of more diversified agriculture "awarded $3.6 million in three years to 367 farmers, created 4,100 new jobs, and had an economic impact of more than $733 million."
As for the Co-op, it's important to remember that while large retailers have their ups and downs (and the downs are mostly suffered by the people at the bottom of their organizational charts), a Co-op can be a more resilient business model because the member-owners come together in times of trouble to see the Co-op through until the economy picks up again. And now, while we're just starting to come out of some pretty big economic trouble, wouldn't it be good to be prepared for the next downturn?
(Join the Co-op today... we've made it easy with our new online form.)