Here's a pretty unique response to keeping a bookstore open!
In response to ideas put forward at a community meeting held last week and e-mails from customers, Borderlands Books, San Francisco,CA, has come up with a plan that might allow it to remain open. Owner Allan Beatts had previously announced the bookstore would close by the end of next month due to the city's minimum wage proposition, which passed last fall.
In a new statement posted on the Borderlands website, Beatts wrote that effective immediately, "we will be offering paid sponsorships of the store. Each sponsorship will cost $100 for the year and will need to be renewed every year. If we get 300 sponsors before March 31st, we will stay open for the remainder of 2015." He also offered preliminary details on sponsor benefits, and said the goal is to "gather enough paid sponsors to cover the projected short-fall in income that will be the result of the minimum wage increase in San Francisco." Plans call for soliciting sponsors again at the beginning of 2016.
"If it is to succeed, we will need your support--not just right now, but every year moving forwards. So, if you want Borderlands to continue, it is in your hands," Beatts noted, adding: "Prior to the events of the last two weeks, I would never have imagined that something like what follows would ever be possible. The outpouring of affection and emotion that started the moment we announced that we were closing has changed forever the way the I and the rest of the staff see Borderlands. This place has always meant the world to us--that's why we work here--but we never imagined that it meant so much to so many people. Win or lose, open or close, we are all more grateful that we can express for your kind words, sincere compliments and the belief that what we do matters."