More From, Rick Hood, Owner of Elwood Thompson’s


Rick Hood follows up on the original discussion of Elwood Thompson’s financing possibilities.

“Lots of creative ideas. The CH community is so educated and engaged. Anonymous – your idea regarding the no interest loan w/ 5% back on groceries (need to study what is fair for both here) to attract the $1000- 5000 loans sounds interesting. Would others be interested in such an idea? I will brainstorm on this (and the other ideas) tomorrow w/ our core staff.”

Sounds like a cool idea. I’m also curious how many folks would be interested in a solution like this?

31 Comment

  • My question is this: Who is/was Ellwood Thompson? Is it a fictitious character, or the original owner of the market?

  • How much money do you need?

    There will be tax consequences for below market loans, not sure what kind of entity you are, but I’d rather have the opportunity to acquire non-voting shares than lend money. An alternative would be forming a partnership (50 people lending $5k) that takes an equity position in this location. This of course can’t happen as easily as me typing in this blog. I’d be cautious, plenty of people will claim to be interested, talk is cheap.

  • Rick,
    Have you guys approached the Mayor’s office about securing a loan from the federal stimulus money?

  • @Ron,

    I believe those are the cross streets of the Richmond location.

  • I would definitely be interested in ET’s having a co-op option or structure – I would pay a yearly fee for discounted products (especially produce) and other member benefits.

  • I just found $1500 and would be happy to give it to you or something like that…

  • I too would be interested in the non-voting shares idea. I would happily invest $1,000 into this store and into the neighborhood, b/c of course i drink the kool aid! hech, i already invested $50,000 on a house downpayment.

  • I would be happy to invest 2500 for a non votig share.

  • Seconding “A Neighbor” – Co-op structure is a great idea, but I’m happy with whatever would work. I really want this store to open.

  • Why not issue some debt instead of stock? Do a small bond, use the Richmond store for colateral. How much money are you talking about? Going the co-op or class B shares route sounds like a legal headache, not to mention costs. Though i suppose floating the debt or issuing subordinate stock is still going to cost some good money.

    Do a debt issue, Or sell the debt to outright to one of the banks, have them repackage it to sell off Sr, secondary various tranches. They could sell that off after paying a small rating fee to moody’s etc. Then just sell the tranches overseas with the AAA rating. What do you mean its not 2007?

  • Call me crazy but if only 15 percent short to do a build out. why didnt you just wait to sign the lease for 6 months. Haven’t you now been paying rent on the empty space for the past serveral months that could have gone towards the build out? (I dont know the specifics) If the DCUSA folks were really interested couldnt they defer rent until mid 2010 once you are up and running. And then charge you a higher rate until its paid off? I just don’t get how we can be so close. The solution after is the problem. opening the store. once its open its making money. I mean I think the one thing we can all agree on is there is no way this will fail once open. Its a sure thing.

  • I would join a co-op or invest if necessary – please come to CH! I end up buying frozen stuff at Target on my way out of the gym a lot, and I would MUCH rather buy my dinner from you!

  • Sure, I’d be interested in learning more. It sounds pretty unique so there may be a high threashold to convince folks that they’re getting a good deal. Then again, I give money to community supported farms before I ever see the food and then collect on my investment over the folllowing 4-6 months. I can envision that the administrative costs would be prohibitive. There must be an example somwhere else that you could copy or draw upon.

  • I would also be interested in participating in some type of investment option.

  • I think we should all get together, and draw awareness to this issue. Lets hand out flyers, and get as many bodies involved as possible. We could stand outside of the target, gym, whatever! I want ET to come so badly.

  • I’d join a co-op in a second. Put me down for a family membership on opening day.

  • “I think we should all get together, and draw awareness to this issue. Lets hand out flyers, and get as many bodies involved as possible. We could stand outside of the target, gym, whatever! I want ET to come so badly.”

    If only we had this much energy for stuff that really matters, like crime prevention, gang prevention, littering education, domestic violence, drugs, etc. Instead, we’re excited about loaning money to a private store and apparently leafletting too. Yes, let’s march in the streets and demand a high end grocery store! Priorities are out of whack a bit, imo.

    Disclaimer: I have no real issue with ET, I like the store, wish it success, encourage it to attract investors as it sees fit.

  • VOR, if we thought we could influence any of that, I think we would. But you’re here every day, advocating for status quo, reminding us just how pointless it is to try to get people to change their behavior.

  • No one is stopping you from organizing about whatever cause you seek to promote, oh high and mighty voice of “reason.”

    And by the way, just because people are excited about a grocery store (which will actually provide jobs to those in the community who need them, by the way, something which will help with crime prevention and all those other things), doesn’t mean they aren’t involved in OTHER causes as well, including some of those you list above.

    Do you ever get excited about, I don’t know, a football team? Or a TV show? If so, how DARE you do so when you could be using that time / energy to help the downtrodden. Let he who has not sinned …

  • I don’t watch much TV. Sure, I get excited about sports from time to time, but I don’t go out on the street and hand out leaflets encouraging others to loan the team money.

  • I’m not advocating for the status quo, I’m advocating for real change in conditions, attitudes, energy, etc. Just not in the same manner as some others. I would welcome ET and I have no problem with others welcoming it as well, I have no problem with people investing in the company. I do have a problem with organizing in the streets to prop up a grocery store when we have a million other problems that need human energy and organization to solve that are a lot bigger. It IS a zero sum game, we only have so many hours in the day and energy to get involved. When crime posts come on here, many want to outsource the problem to cops and city council members. But when grocery store posts come on here, people want to start a movement. Come on, that doesn’t seem skewed to you?

  • VoR is against “outsourcing” on crime. Who here wants to chip in to buy him a cape and a mask?

  • I already have a cape, mask and tights. I spend some Saturdays patrolling the neighborhood thwarting would be burglars. I don’t recommend this for everyone though.

  • Yes, sign me up! I’d gladly contribute $1000 as part of a co-op program. Rick, any feedback from your staff meeting? Maybe we could have different levels of membership, from individual to family? Please let us know how can we all “pledge”, to get an idea of how much we could actually raise as a neighborhood….

  • voiceofreason, patrolling the streets of Columbia Heights in a cape and tights! thwarting burglars! shouting down evil gentrifiers! organizing one person protests against wine bars! selling high end chocolates! handing down judgment like it’s his business! oh where would D.C. be without ye and your informing us of our various evils???

    And by the way, the person who devoted energy to attempting to stop Room 11 from opening, time that could have been spent helping kids to read or cleaning trash from the streets or volunteering on a rape crisis hotline or a zillion other worth causes, can never, ever, ever, never, ever lecture anyone about spending time on frivolous causes instead of the real problems plaguing our community. At least the folks spending time advocating on Ellwood Thompson’s behalf are trying to bring tax revenues, jobs, and community amenities INTO the community, not keep them out.

  • VOR, come on now. There are enough of us to do the various things that needs to be done so why don’t you, and others who feel passionate about the things you listed above work on that while others work on bringing business like ET into the neighborhood. See, the causes you want taken care of do not generate revenue, but the business do. The social issues require money while businesses generate tax revenue, and Jobs. Residents can buy the good food they are looking for, helping them keep a healthy lifestyle. Can’t you see it is a win win for all?

  • My wife and I would also consider loaning/investing $1000 to the effort

  • Generating revenue as the most important priority in the neighborhood is what is causing a lot of the problems in the neighborhood. Too much energy in creating a playground for the well to do and not enough energy in fixing the social problems that plague the community. Meanwhile, you’ve got people lining up to give thousands of dollars to a high end grocery store while very few people are interested in doing anything about the violence in the community, short of “tearing down the public housing”. If what you said is true, if people actually were dividing the labor and applying community effort on both commercial development and social improvement, I’d agree 100%, but that’s not what’s going on here.

  • Again, if people could invest $1000 in ending the random crime on our streets, and have some reasonable expectation that their investment would pay off, you’d see people madly waving fistfuls of cash. The fact is, we’re all dumping buckets of cash (our taxes) into the systems that are in place to end the crime, and we see no improvement. And in fact, if we were to stop “outsourcing” the project (which I assume means we’d stop paying for it) we’d get locked up for tax evasion, and those of us who tried to take the project in hand ourselves would get locked up for vigilantism.

    The income-generating projects that people here are advocating for are not going to bring more gun battles to Columbia Heights. The income-generating activities of many of the people in the project are precisely what’s causing the danger to the rest of us.

    I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again: if the project residents truly are as upstanding and community oriented as you insist, they need to step up and start helping the police run the dealers and the thugs out. If that means grandma calls the po-po on her own grandkids… so be it. And if they can’t bring themselves to do it, they all need to go. I am sick and tired of living in fear of being caught in the crossfire, all just so a “community” can uphold their tradition of “no snitchin'”.

  • My girlfriend and I would also be interested in the no-interest loan.

    My guess is that we’d do about 95% of our grocery shopping at ET if it existed.

  • Jim Graham is now taking credit (deserved or undeserved is in the eye of the beholder) for passing a tax relief bill to help with ET’s lease.

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