In recent days, the Book Industry Charitatable Foundation, or BINC, has become the favoured comic book industry charity to help beleaguered comic book stores in distress. #Creators4Comics is the latest fundraiser that just this morning alone is raising hundreds of thousands of dollars. But as a relatively new charitable operation regarding the comic book industry, and gaining more in donations this year than over the past 24 years of operations, there is some unfamiliarity with how they operate. Especially how comic stores can get access to the funds being raised.
Firstly, comic book stores have to apply for relief with this link. If they are already American Bookstore Associaton members, they need to use a different link. Secondly, BINC funding only covers comic book stores in the USA. Comic book stores under threat in Canada or in the UK are not covered by funding from BINC.
How does a comic store apply for BINC funding?
In order to be eligible, a store has to derive a substantial portion of its income from the sale of comic books, manga, and/or graphic novels, have a physical storefront and address in the U.S. or U.S. territories, and Online only stores are not eligible. In any 30-day period from March 15, 2020 – May 15, 2020, they must anticipate their business losing at least 50% of sales and/or net income as compared to the same period in 2019 due to current public health emergency. They have to be a privately owned company or DBA. The funds received must be used for business operating expenses and the retailer must not have access any other immediate financial resources to draw from (excluding government relief funds) that are greater than the equivalent of 6 months' worth of sales, such as a parent company, crowdfunding donations, or significant cash reserves. The application for funds must also occur between April 10th, 2020 through April 27th, 2020 at 11:59 PM ET. So that's twelve more days if your store has yet to apply. All cheques, if awarded, are to be used for operating expenses. Checks will be made payable directly to the comic retailer and as such are taxable. Cheques will not be made payable to individuals.
Maybe someone may be able to set up a Canadian, UK, Irish or Australasian equivalent? You can follow how Bleeding Cool is covering the impact on the current situation on the comic book industry with this link.