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The Plunkett Foundation has produced a new report looking at the State of Rural Community Business during the lockdown. The report has been produced as part of the Co-op funded Covid-19 support for Rural Community Businesses and focuses on the period between April – June 2020.

The Coronavirus crisis has affected lives in all corners of the world, almost no community has gone unchanged in some way since global awareness of the outbreak began in the Spring of 2020. For community owned and run businesses across the UK, Covid-19 has presented both daunting challenges and unexpected opportunities. These diverse businesses – from pubs to flour mills, woodlands to shops – all have valuable experiences to share, and many have helped inform and influence Plunkett’s own response.

This report looks deeply into those ups and downs, specifically focusing on the period between April and June – from the peak of the pandemic and the national lockdown, to the relaxing of government guidance. Thanks to funding from the Co-op, during this period Plunkett was able to offer a dedicated programme of support to help rural community businesses across the UK as they battled these unprecedented challenges. This report demonstrates how Plunkett has been working with community businesses during this time as they ensured they could meet the needs of their communities – looking specifically at our key areas of impact – affection (community cohesion and inclusivity), creation (local participation), protection (support and services) and subsistence (jobs and training opportunities).