A new report written by Social Finance for Power to Change has been launched today, to examine how community businesses have fared under ongoing government austerity and uncertain economic conditions.
The report shows how community businesses are thriving despite local challenges and highlights the role of these organisations in creating better places and a sense of community pride. The research also found that community businesses are important to the economy, generating £900 million income on £1.4 billion of assets and engaging with 170,000 volunteers.
Other key findings (as at the end of 2015) include:
- Three sectors account for around 3,000 community businesses – transport, food and farming, and leisure.
- Areas with potential for growth include health and social care, and digital.
- Community energy schemes increased by 40% as organisations took advantage of tax benefits, but now face challenges in the coming year as government schemes come to an end.
- While survey respondents expressed high levels of satisfaction with support provided, 73% of community businesses said there were some gaps in support available to them. Power to Change aims to provide business and technical support to help organisations like these improve their sustainability.