Principles met

  • We will promote community-based approaches to economic development that focus on supporting the creation of jobs, social enterprises and other businesses and providing an environment for co-operative and mutual enterprises to thrive.
  • We will embrace innovation in how we work with local communities to drive positive change.
  • We will capture and ‘expand’ the experience and learning from individual projects and approaches in order to encourage broader application of co-operative principles within individual member Councils and across the Network.
  • We will support the development of a framework and criteria for social value, giving substance to the concept and supporting Councils with the tools to ensure better local social and economic outcomes.
  • As a membership organisation, we will make this statement of our principles operational by: • Co-operation among members: Our members work together to help each other implement our values, sharing experiences and learning. • Openness of membership: Full, Associate and Affiliate Membership is open to any qualifying Council, organisation or individual who shares our values and is committed to putting them into action. • Co-production of the Network’s work: Members help shape the Network’s work programme and the content of events and written products. • Action-focused: The network is a vehicle for helping councils translate co-operative values and principles into policy and practice. •Membership-based: The network is majority funded by modest membership subscriptions from its member Councils, Associates and Affiliates. •Non-party-political: Members share the belief that working co-operatively within and across communities holds the key to tackling today’s challenges.

This represents the first time a council has conducted a survey to better understand the demographic make-up of businesses in its town centres (for example ethnicity, gender etc of business owners, plus the split between independent and larger firms) and to champion and support the diversity of the high street retailer offer. The headcount and survey have recently been repeated with the results due shortly. An analysis of the results will allow the council to establish how Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic businesses have fared in the wake of the pandemic.

The inaugural survey saw the Council win at the Federation of Small Businesses Local Government Awards 2022 for its support for the small business community. The authority won the COVID-19 Support and Recovery category, aimed at highlighting those that had made the biggest impact on local SMEs during the Covid crisis and beyond.

The disproportionate deaths due to COVID-19 among Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic communities shone a spotlight on the systemic inequalities they experience in all areas of their lives. That includes businesses. The ground-breaking census of Lewisham’s high streets reflects the council’s commitment to tackle inequalities; rebuild the local, post-COVID economy; and to ensure everybody has the opportunity to succeed.

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