WITH just three weeks to go until the third annual Community Business Weekend on 4-7 May, organisers Power to Change are calling for community businesses across the East of England to get involved.
In the East of England there are many community businesses ranging from community-owned pubs, post-offices, farms and shops to community-run transport, leisure and community centres, all of which are reinvesting in the local area to help benefit local people.
Community Business Weekend offers a unique opportunity for community businesses in the East of England to open their doors and for local people to visit and see how they can get involved – and help shine a light on the 7,000 community businesses across England.
Peter Jenkins, Interim Chief Executive at Power to Change, told Peterborough Business, “Community businesses are a great example of local people taking power into their own hands. Every day tens of thousands of people get up and go to work at one of the 7,000 community businesses in England. Hundreds of thousands of us shop, visit or benefit from them directly, but they are still relatively unknown.
“That’s why Community Business Weekend is so important. It shines a light on these community-run gems that bring not only much needed services and spaces to a community but boost local economies and reinvest the profits for the benefit of local people.
“Top-down regeneration and devolution has failed to transform many disadvantaged areas, but communities, best placed to know what their neighbourhoods need and what works, usually thrive when they’re given the power to tackle these issues themselves.”
Recent reports have shown that there are around 7,000 community businesses in England, with a combined market income of £1.2bn. Community businesses in England also employ 35,500 paid staff and 119,500 volunteers. This burgeoning sector has considerable potential to enhance local economies across England and could be the model for the future of the national economy.
A free resource and planning pack for community businesses keen to benefit from the Weekend has been produced. Community businesses can request a copy at: communitybusinessweekend.org/register-for-your-pack/
For more information on Community Business Weekend, please visit: communitybusinessweekend.org