A cooperative values community, autonomy, democracy, equality, equity, and solidarity.

Co-operatives are flexible.

In contrast to traditional corporations, cooperatives use a variety of governance mechanisms to make democratic decisions. In general, co-ops lean towards one-vote-per-owner vs. traditional organizations that use weighted voting based on the share of ownership.

Co-operatives can take multiple forms.

Consumer co-operatives: owned by consumers who buy goods or services Producer co-operatives: owned by producers of goods who process and market their products Purchasing co-operatives: owned by businesses to improve purchasing power Worker: owned and governed by employees Hybrid co-operatives: a combination of the above (this is what People’s Spotlight’s model is - worker, consumer, producer hybrid)

Co-operatives use earnings based on contribution models.

The distribution of earnings co-relates to owners’ membership of and contribution to the cooperative.

Co-operatives are for the members.

Co-operatives exist for the mutual benefit of all members and all members contribute to the success of the cooperative.

Co-operatives protect their members.

Members are not personally liable for obligations or debts of the cooperation. By joining a cooperative you are protected by the legal entity that is the cooperative and release personal liability from your work and contributions. Bylaws and governing documents are essential to cooperatives because they outline liability protection as well as indicate the methods of governance flexibility. These bylaws are what adhere members to the cooperative structure.