James Alcock, Plunkett’s chief executive, said: “Keeping people connected is a crucial element to maintaining good mental wellbeing in rural areas, where challenges such as unemployment and deprivation are very real.
“Community owned and run businesses have shown themselves to be innovative and adaptable during the Covid-19 crisis – involving many people across diverse communities. As the UK heads into an uncertain economic future, our report shows that their role to provide employment, training, contributing to an equal society and keeping people connected is needed now more than ever.”
On the findings, Co-op CEO Steve Murrells said: “Cooperative business models have been successful for hundreds of years. Community owned businesses have a critical role to play in their local economy and a community’s wellbeing – we urge the government not to overlook their potential as they seek to rebuild the UK post COVID, especially in more remote areas.”