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Community-owned business growth at highest level since the pandemic

More new community-owned businesses opened across the UK in the last calendar year than at any other time since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, according to Plunkett UK. 

A report from the national charity, which supports rural community businesses, says that last year showed a 4% increase in the sector, with 32 new entities resulting in a total of 787 community-owned businesses trading by the end of December 2023. The figures also show that the community ownership sector has almost doubled in the last 10 years, with more than 350 new community-owned businesses opening.

“There is an increasing number of resilient, thriving and inclusive rural communities across the country, thanks to the tireless work of a growing network of community-owned businesses, which are supported by Plunkett UK,” said Dominic Hare, CEO of Blenheim Palace, sponsor of Plunkett’s Impact Report 2024.

“Against the odds, the five-year survival rate for community businesses remains an outstanding 99% – more than double Office for National Statistics’ data for small and medium-sized enterprises, which is 44% over the same period. Over 20-plus years, community-owned businesses’ survival rates also remain phenomenally high at 92%. In reality, very few businesses close once they are community-owned.”

Read the rest at Co-operative News

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