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NALC forms partnership to release a new guide on community business

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The National Association of Local Councils (NALC) has partnered with the Plunkett Foundation and Power to Change to release a new guide on community business, later this year.

The Good Councillor's guide to community business aims to help local (parish and town) councils better understand the principles of what a community business is, their benefits and help consider whether it would be beneficial for their area.

The partnership intends to harness the growing sense of community spirit which the COVID-19 lockdown produced, even in those communities where businesses such as pubs, shops, post offices, bakeries and libraries closed long ago. There is a growing sense that communities are committing to rebuilding communities.

Real stories and experiences will form an essential part of the guide. The organisations are calling for anyone involved previously with a local council, community business collaboration, or partnered project to share their knowledge, as well as featuring in the guide as a case study to get in touch at .

NALC chairman, Cllr Sue Baxter, said: "I welcome this initiative. Many local councils already support and encourage a range of community businesses, including shops and theatres. But the sector could do more, and I hope this guide will encourage more of my councillor colleagues to champion this approach as they help communities recover from the implications of the pandemic."

Community businesses are enterprises that are owned and run democratically by members of the community and others, on behalf of the community. They come in many forms, including shops, pubs, woodlands and anything which lends itself to community ownership. In addition to developing and safeguarding valuable assets and services, community businesses address a range of issues including isolation, loneliness, wellbeing, work and training.

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