Power to Change Impact Report 2020: Community business: The power on your doorstep

Executive summary

The world has transformed since Power to Change first opened its doors in 2015. And if the pandemic of 2020 has shown anything, it’s that communities are a powerful part of our lives.

Across England, businesses that are locally rooted, and which benefit the local community, stepped up during the crisis. These community businesses – such as community hubs, shops, farms and pubs – were at the forefront of efforts to ensure that no one went hungry, that the need for physical isolation did not result in social isolation, and that thousands of volunteers could come together and play an active part in their communities.

As the champion for the community business sector, Power to Change believes community businesses make places better. During its first five years, it has supported and given grants to more than 1,000 of them to improve their local areas. But has it made a difference? And what lessons can be learnt for the post-Covid world?

This report examines the impact of Power to Change – on its grantees, on the community business market and on communities. It looks at the people these businesses work with and the places in which they operate.