Garretson, SD, April 9, 2020 — Alliance Communications, a customer-owned communications cooperative serving communities in South Dakota, Iowa and Minnesota, is sending out $8 million in capital credits to their customer-owners this week. This capital credits retirement from Alliance comes at a very crucial time for a lot of their customers—business owners and residents in rural communities in the region.
"Alliance is paying out a significant amount of money this year, and it’s occurring at a great time,” said Jeff Haagenson, board president for Alliance Communications. “We hope it can provide some financial relief, especially for those who are experiencing hardships during the COVID-19 pandemic."
Receiving capital credits is an exclusive benefit for Alliance customer-owners. This year’s payout amount is larger than usual because it includes business activities for more than a decade. Throughout those years, Alliance participated in several successful business partnerships and service expansions. The cooperative prefers to payout for multiple years to ensure both new and long-term customers receive some capital credits.
“Unlike privately owned or publicly traded companies, Alliance is sharing millions of dollars with our own community members by sending out capital credits checks,” said Ross Petrick, general manager/CEO for Alliance Communications.
As a customer-owned cooperative providing an important utility, community has a different meaning for Alliance. Community is at the cooperative’s heart of operations and decision-making.
Long-time Alliance customers Tom and Jenn Wullstein are involved in numerous community organizations in Brandon, and they said that they often reach out to Alliance Communications to support them.
“They’ve always been very generous with both time and money,” Jen Wullstein said. “Alliance has their name out there in a way where people see them besides just the services they provide.”
The Wullsteins also appreciate that Alliance is a customer-owned communications cooperative that shares its margins with customers.
“It makes you feel like the company is looking out for you and not just taking your business,” said Jenn Wullstein. “I have always been very happy to see those [capital credits] come out. I have known others who have said that it’s a way to get extra groceries for the month, or they were able to buy something for their kids that they maybe wouldn't have been able to otherwise.”
Starting this week, those who were cooperative customers between 2007-2018 will receive capital credits checks in the mail if their amount is higher than $20. If their amount is $20 or less, they received a credit on their April 1 bill. These capital credits are the result of successful business partnerships, business expansions, or the sale or expansion of assets acquired over the years, in addition to revenue from sales of products and services.
In other words, customer-owners benefit from what Alliance does outside of providing internet, cable TV, and phone services. Alliance allocates margins to customer-owners based on their purchases during the year.
“My family and I have lived here [in Brandon] for about 30 years, and I’ve worked with Alliance ever since we came here,” said Harry Buck, a realtor. “They’ve been really positive for Brandon. I’ve been members of different agricultural co-ops in the past, but I haven’t ever really been associated with any co-op that gives back as much as Alliance has. That’s just been a real positive thing.”
Alliance Communications serves nearly 13,000 customers. Those who live in Alcester, Alvord, Baltic, Brandon, Carthage, Crooks, Garretson, Hills, Howard, Hudson, Inwood, Larchwood, Lester, Oldham, Ramona, Steen and Valley Springs are customer-owners and receive cooperative benefits.
Alliance customers who have questions about their capital credits can send a message to firstname.lastname@example.org. They also can leave a voice mail message for our capital credits department by calling 311 from any phone with Alliance service or (605) 594-3000 from any other phone. Visit alliancecom.net/about-us/cooperative for information on Alliance’s cooperative benefits.
ABOUT ALLIANCE COMMUNICATIONS
Alliance Communications is a customer-owned communications cooperative that provides Internet, cable TV and telephone services to portions of South Dakota, Minnesota and Iowa. All Alliance customers have access to a 100% fiber-optic network. Therefore, customers receive their services over optical fiber rather than copper telephone wires or coaxial cable. Connecting homes directly to fiber optics gives customers more bandwidth capacity and reliability.