7.3 Are you a community business?
Power to Change defines community business as having the following four key features. We want you to describe how your community business relates to these features:
- Locally rooted - They are rooted in a particular geographical place, for example a village or neighbourhood, and respond to its needs, for example high levels of urban deprivation or rural isolation.
- Operating for the benefit of the community with broad community impact - They benefit the community as a whole and can clearly evidence the positive social impact on the broader community.
- Accountable to the local community - They are accountable to local people. This can be demonstrated in many ways – but you must have evidence of regular community influence on your business, e.g. membership structure, ownership, broad range of local trustees. Decision making through community shares is one of the best ways to make sure your community business is accountable to the local community.
- With trading at the heart of its business, for the benefit of the local community - They are businesses with a clear trading model. Their income comes from activities like renting out space in their buildings, trading as cafés or selling the produce they grow. This can help release the group from a reliance on grant or state funding and help create anchor institutions regardless of the economic climate.