Resilient community businesses are vital for a fair and prosperous economy. They increase community cohesion and social capital, and provide services based on community needs. Our work shows there are at least 11,000 community businesses in England. They employ 41,800 people, work with 126,000 volunteers, and contribute almost £1 billion to our economy. During Covid, and now the cost of living and energy crises, community businesses continue to be the backbone of our communities. They take ownership of the spaces and places that matter to them, responding to local needs with agility, resourcefulness, and commitment. They are setting up warm banks, like The Bevy in east Brighton, and helping people escape food poverty, like Spring Community Hub in south east London.
2022 marked the second year of progress on our 2021-5 strategy and seven years of Power to Change’s impact. But we must continue to look ahead and assess where and how our resources will have the greatest impact. In collaboration with our staff and key external stakeholders, our priority for 2023 is planning Power to Change’s future beyond 2025. What will be our core purpose and focus? Where can we have the greatest impact? Despite this uncertainty, we know the difference community businesses make. And we remain determined to support and champion community businesses, whatever the challenge.