The Co-op Economy 2020

Amidst the maelstrom of tough news that seems to be our current normal, we were happy to read Co-operatives UK Annual Co-operative Economy Report recently.

The Report illustrates the amazing resilience of co-operative businesses – a whopping 76% survive after the tough early five years compared to 42% of traditional company structures. We know that businesses that are owned and run by and for their communities have the loyalty and love of those communities – it’s not hard to see why people would want to support them.

This love and loyalty has been so visible throughout the COVID-19 crisis, and we’ve seen story after story of community businesses changing their ways of operating to keep doing what they do best – support those who need them. We know they are keen to get back to operating in as near a way to normal as possible, through no-one is sure yet what this will look like for co-ops such as Community Pubs.

But we have hope.

This from Power to Change considers a stronger community and a social economy post virus; this from their CEO Vidhaya Alekson quotes a YouGov poll run for the RSA in April – 40% of those polled felt a stronger sense of local community since lockdown and 85% want at least some of the changes to stick. We’re in that number. This from Local Trust presents four alternative futures and a future for communities, and the outpouring of help through Mutual Aid groups – and the establishment of a support network for those groups – demonstrates that people are willing, keen, even, to act when they can see a need and know it will help. People *are* community. People *are* co-operative. We just need to make space for it to flourish.

Read the full report here Co-op Economy Report here