Birmingham community launch hardware store share offer

York Supplies is a much loved independent hardware store and the oldest retail business in Birmingham’s Kings Heath. The shop is up for sale because the current owner, Jon Jaffa, is retiring. But there’s a ‘SOLD’ sign outside the shop to dissuade potential buyers, because Jon wants to sell the 75 year-old business to the local community!

Last Friday saw the official launch of the York Supplies Community Society Ltd share offer. A media launch was attended by West Midlands Mayor Andy Street, with the campaign making local BBC and ITV news. This was followed by a community launch on Sunday, attended by local MP Tahir Ali.

We’re watching the campaign closely. Jo from Co-operative Futures supported the action group with their successful Community Ownership Fund application – meaning government funding will match every pound of investment from the local community up to £250,000 – and helped with preparing their share issue:
Jo provided invaluable help along the way, without which we would still be struggling to get our heads round the business plan! She provided knowledge we didn’t have, insight to guide us on how to balance the books, and wording we needed. It is no exaggeration to say we couldn’t have done it without her.” Naomi Standen (Chair of the Action Group)

There’s just six weeks to reach the £300,000 target to save York Supplies for the community, allowing them to buy the premises, stock and business, and to continue to develop it as a community co-op. It’s about more than a hardware store ultimately. The vision is for York Supplies to be an inspiring, inclusive and creative hub for building, making and growing.

You can find out more and invest by visiting The clock is ticking!