Towards a post-Covid Meadean economy

  1. Drawing on reserves initially, we will work with a new Community Benefit Society to set up an ‘equity deal’ scheme for businesses that think they may go under, given lack of consumer or supply chain demand and after the furlough scheme ends. The principal target for the scheme offer will be town centre-type businesses, especially hospitality and leisure, both because these businesses are most likely to see slower return to normal trading conditions and because of the domino-effect of shop front vacancies in a town centre, where some vacancies and the feel of emerging blight drives custom from the town and creates more closures. Businesses entering the scheme will also be those who, for a variety of reasons, are unable to access the treasury-backed loan scheme.
  2. The council(s) will inject cash into businesses with normal time underlying profitability, so as to keep them afloat through the bad times, and in retirn for shares. Importantly, the equity deal will include a ‘buy back’ clause for owners, so that when trading conditions allow they can buy back total control, at a price which reflects council input, but is reasonable and even encourages same.
  3. To bolster both financing and community-wide ownership (and with that local custom), we will offer a Financial Conduct Authority regulated community shares scheme, allowing local people with disposable income to invest in the overall programme, and within this a democratic framework will be established whereby decisions on where and how to invest, and with what conditions generate wider participation.
  4. Conditions for equity deals are likely to involve commitment to a range of social and environmental measures, such as retention of jobs, trade union representation, participation in town-wide green schemes, and there will also be encouragement and facilitation to engage — as supplies or purchasers — in business activities which meet community wealth principles.
  5. Concurrently, there will be a campaign to demand councils get wider access to funding than is currently feasible under the Prudential Code, by seeking enlarged parameters to access to the Public Works Loan Board, and by loosening expectations of balanced budgets (and related Section 114 legislation), in line with the need to meet local economic need and demand.

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Secretary General, Habermasian Labour (UK). Indefatigably focused on the promotion of ethical discourse in the public sphere, except when there's cricket.

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Paul Cotterill

Paul Cotterill

Secretary General, Habermasian Labour (UK). Indefatigably focused on the promotion of ethical discourse in the public sphere, except when there's cricket.

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