The GLA Regeneration team launched Boosting Community Business London, in partnership with Power to Change and Cooperatives UK.
The pilot is designed to support local groups to set up and grow a community business which are profit-generating organisations, run by and trading for the benefit of local people with local impact and accountability baked into their governance and legal structures.
The pilot offers development grants to groups looking to set up as community businesses, as well as existing community businesses looking to expand operations or secure assets through community shares – a form of equity investment. It is part of the Mayor’s commitment to helping London become a fairer, greener, more open and vibrant city as we begin to recover from the pandemic and delivers on the London Recovery Board’s High Streets for All mission.
This programme provides support to organisations setting-up community businesses that could involve assets on high streets; in short: organisations interested in setting-up a community businesses can apply for up to eight days of support – mentoring/guidance – worth up to £4,000. In addition, grants of up to £10,000 are available to support the development of community share offers. Community shares allow local people to invest small sums of money and become co-owners of vital local enterprises – from pools to pubs, community housing to heritage buildings.
Organisations participating in the programme may be eligible for further equity investment if they are ‘taking on heritage assets on high streets’.