Is my business a ‘community business’?

How do you know if your business is a ‘community business’? There are four main criteria that community businesses share.

Locally rooted

Businesses that are based in their community
  1. Typically that local area will be smaller in size than a local authority. It will be well defined and may include a number of postcodes or villages.
  2. People must self identify with that area.
  3. A majority of staff, volunteers and other stakeholders should be drawn from the local community and reflect its diversity.

Accountable to the local community

The business must be locally controlled
  1. The local community must have a genuine say in how the business is run, eg through regular consultation, membership or ownership.
  2. There are formal structures to engage a large number of local people on a frequent and ongoing basis.
  3. A large majority of the management and trustees should be drawn from the community.

Trading for the benefit of the local community

Profits must stay in the area
  1. The organisation must have a clear trading model.
  2. A majority of its profits should be distributed locally and used to deliver local benefit.
  3. The project we are funding must have charitable purpose. Any private benefit must be incidental.

Broad community impact

You must address challenges in your community
  1. A community business should contribute to a broader sense of confidence and pride in a place.
  2. It must be able to articulate how it is tackling the specific issues that exist in its community.
  3. A community business must be able to show the impact it is making.