Press release

Extra COVID-19 funding for social economy

Following weeks of lobbying by social economy representatives the Westminster Government has announced new funding to help social enterprises, including many co-ops and community businesses, deal with the financial challenges of COVID-19. 

On 20 May, the Culture Secretary announced that £30 million of blended finance (mix of grants and loans) would be provided to social enterprises to help them deal with cash flow problems and to rebuild.

> read annoucement here

This money will be distributed via Access Foundation

Co-operatives UK is seeking more information on how this could support co-ops hit financially by the pandemic. 

A victory for joint lobbying

Since the end of April, sector organisations including Co-operatives UK, Social Enterprise UK, Plunkett, Locality and Community Leisure UK have been lobbying together, under the banner #SaveOurSocEnts, to convince government to provide more targeted support for the social economy.

Keep up to date on government help for co-ops affected by COVID-19 by signing up to our newsletter. We're also providing HR advice, governance advice and remote networking opportunities.

Almost 1,000 social enterprise, including more than 100 Co-operatives UK members, have signed up in support of the campaign so far. We encourage all our members to do so here.

A common priority, informed by survey data from our members, has been for blended financial support comprising:

  • Targeted emergency grants, particularly for businesses that have missed out on the rates-based schemes
  • Patient, ultra-low interest loans tailored to social business models 

This latest funding release by government shows that it is listening to our concerns and demonstrates the power of focused collective action. 


e: [email protected]

t: 0161 214 1775