Credit Power To Change. Image Of Upper Norwood Library. Interior

The Community Business Festival is a free two-day online event taking place on Thursday 13th and Friday 14th August 2020. Open to everyone, it will celebrate the passion and dedication of the people behind England’s community businesses and the difference they make in their local areas every day.

Festivalgoers can choose from a jam-packed programme ranging from live fitness and wellbeing sessions, and cookery demonstrations, through to behind-the-scenes tours and panel discussions exploring how communities have saved much-loved local buildings like pubs, swimming baths and old industrial buildings to the benefit of local people.

The Festival programme includes:

  • Access-all-areas tours of some of England’s most unusual community businesses including a fully operational historic flour mill
  • Slow Fashion: a transformation challenge - reinventing your wardrobe to save the planet
  • How to make the perfect pie – cooking demonstration.
  • Wake-up wellness – fitness sessions to get the day started
  • Community Business Festival Get Together - a chance to meet community business leaders
  • Inspirational stories on how communities reacted to lockdown and how they’ve saved their much-loved community assets including pubs, swimming baths and entire streets of houses.

The Community Business Festival has evolved from the Community Business Weekend, an annual event where community businesses up and down the country throw open their doors and host events to promote the positive impact they have in their local area and encourage more people to get involved. In 2019, over 250 community businesses took part in the weekend. Covid-19 has meant taking a more creative approach to celebrating community business this year and the Community Business Festival was born.

Bryony Moore from Stitched Up Coop said: “We’re really excited to be taking part in the Community Business Festival this year and to share our community business journey – the good and the bad. I’ve found being part of a community business incredibly rewarding. Seeing the difference we make to the lives of people in our area is fantastic. And on a personal level, it helps me to really feel part of the local community, knowing that the people we support value us just as much as we value them.” 

Charlotte Cassedanne, Head of Communications at Power to Change said: “Community businesses are powered by volunteers and they’re experiencing a national shortage following the Covid-19 crisis. The Festival gives people the chance to discover the amazing things community businesses do and get involved. Volunteering in a community business can change your life." 

Festival Fringe

Alongside the main programme, a Festival Fringe invites more community businesses to share their stories and engage with festivalgoers using #CBFestival. Everyone can get involved and more information can be found on the Festival webpage: or WATCH the Community Business Festival video here:

What is a community business?

Community businesses are owned and run by the community with the main aim of helping to bring people together to improve their local area, boost the local economy and quality of life of local residents. They can range from pubs, shops and libraries saved from closure by locals coming together to employment and regeneration projects set up to improve opportunities and transform the local area.


Kate Buckle
Article by Kate Buckle
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