Booksellers charity offers help to bookstores, workers

Re-posted with permission from the Denver Post. Post by Tucker Shaw on the Pages books blog – blogs.denverpost.com/books

DenverPostLogo1Help is on the way for Colorado bookstores and bookstore employees affected by the floods. The Book Industry Charitable Foundation (bincfoundation.org), a.k.a. Binc, a Michigan-based nonprofit that sponsors charitable giving, financial assistance grants and higher education scholarships to bookstore employees – particularly in times of emergency or extreme hardship – announced this week that they’d be contacting Colorado bookstores with offers to help out in the wake of recent flooding along the Front Range.

Pam French, executive director of the Foundation, said Wednesday that BINC assisted 11 booksellers in the northeast after 2012’s catastrophic Hurricane Sandy.  The aid was mostly financial assistance to folks who lost income after the bookstore at which they worked closed temporarily.

“Typically with small businesses like bookstores, if the shop is closed people don’t get paid. We were able to make up the difference. If they were out three days of pay, we provided three of pay. In those cases that money went to rent,” French said.

Binc will also help out booksellers and bookstore employees with funds to help repair their homes.

BINC started as a Borders employees’ fund similar to Home Depot’s “Homer” fund, which assists employees in times off extreme need. When Borders, the national bookstore chain, ceased operations in 2011, BINC became an independent entity. French said that most of the funds the BINC Foundation draws on were carried over from its days as a Borders-specific nonprofit.

BINC also awards academic scholarships.

French, who’s been in the book business since the 1980s, said BINC serves a special, remarkable community.

The best way to reach BINC is toll free at 866-733-9064 and info@bincfoundation.org. You can learn more about the group at their website, www.bincfoundation.org.

Many Colorado booksellers will be attending the Mountains and Plains Independent Booksellers Association trade show in Denver next month, where a representative from BINC will be available to answer questions about how it works.

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