£12m emergency support fund for community businesses launched

Power to Change says there will be two rounds of funding, the first of which opens on 11 May

Homebaked, a community land trust and cooperative bakery in Liverpool
Homebaked, a community land trust and cooperative bakery in Liverpool

The community business support charity Power to Change has launched a £12m emergency support fund.

The organisation said that, although there were increased demands on community businesses, more than 50 per cent of them had had to stop their operations because of the coronavirus.

There are two rounds of funding. The first stage, worth £7m, will offer grants of up to £25,000 to community businesses that have lost income between April and June this year.

The first pot is available only to those that have received or are in receipt of Power to Change grants and members of Power to Change partners, including Co-operatives UK, Locality and the Plunkett Foundation.

The second round of funding, which has a grant pot of £5m and will be available at a later date, will have its eligibility criteria announced in due course.

Power to Change defines a community business as a place accessed locally that is accountable to the local community, trading for the benefit of the community and has a broad community impact.

Those who are interested in finding out more about the first stage of funding can attend a free webinar on 6 May.

Applications for the funding will open on the Power to Change website from 11 May.

Power to Change said all other funding activities had been paused while it focused on providing financial aid during the coronavirus crisis.

Vidhya Alakeson, chief executive of Power to Change, said: “Our aim now is to ensure that community businesses can continue their vital work despite the impact of lost trading due to coronavirus.

“We will continually review the short- and medium-term needs of community businesses as we support them throughout this crisis and beyond.”

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