Financial analysis of the Liverpool City Region community business market

This report, from the Heseltine Institute at the University of Liverpool and Seebohm Hill Social Enterprise offers a bench mark of the financial position of the community business market in Liverpool City region, pre-Covid.

Key findings:

  • 114 community businesses operating across the Liverpool City Region in early 2020 collectively earning £19 million of income, employing 500 staff, owning £27 million of fixed assets, and holding net assets worth £22 million.
  • Community businesses in the region were much less likely to fail and had higher five-year survival rates than regional and national averages for all enterprises, but rates of new start-ups were lower.
  • Over half of all community businesses in the region are in the 10 per cent most deprived areas in England. Three-quarters are in the 30 per cent most deprived areas.
  • Community hubs are the largest sector, accounting for 29 per cent of the total.
  • Many community businesses were operating with deficits in the period prior to the Covid-19 crisis and, as a result, unable to build reserves.
  • In overall terms, the region’s community business market holds around one and a half month’s income as free reserves.
  • In addition to financial sustainability, other factors for community business success included community engagement, the roles and skills of staff and volunteers, strong partnerships and local networks.

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