The impact of community business on local communities: A feasibility study to test new measures based on the Community Life Survey

This research tested a new way of measuring the social impact of community businesses on their local community, through a ‘hyperlocal’ version of the Community Life Survey in six pilot areas with strong community businesses.

The Community Life Survey (CLS) has been carried out annually by Kantar Public since 2012-13 on behalf of the Office for Civil Society. It provides official statistics on issues that are key to encouraging social action and empowering communities, including volunteering, giving, community engagement and well-being.

In order to explore the feasibility of measuring the success (or otherwise) of place-based community business initiatives, the national CLS was undertaken in six hyperlocal areas around established community businesses. This data was compared with match areas constructed from the national survey data. The approach was successful, producing good comparator data for four of the six areas, and the report discusses in detail the methodology and the data findings.