Fans of Borderlands Books came out in droves to a community meeting last week after the beloved fantasy bookshop announced it was closing. They offered new business ideas and, perhaps most importantly, their fervent support for Valencia’s Street bastion of science fiction, fantasy and mystery books.
Owner Alan Beatts was apparently taking notes. As a byproduct of the meeting, Beatts and Borderlands' staff announced Thursday that they’ve got a new plan that, if it works, will keep the store open.
Borderlands plans to offer its most dedicated patrons a sponsorship model, in which sponsors pay $100 a year in exchange for several benefits. To survive for another year, he needs 300 people to sign up as sponsors to raise $30,000. That, he says, will cover the additional payroll cost of the minimum wage increase, which he previously cited as the store’s main reason for closure. To prevent dependence on large donors, individuals can buy only one sponsorship.
If Borderlands doesn’t sign up 300 members by March 31, the store will close. If its sponsors don’t renew their sponsorship in the following year, the store will close then. For now, Beatts says he feels “cautiously optimistic.”
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