West Lancashire Resilience Society launched to support local businesses

West Lancashire Resilience Society launched to support local businesses

by Henry James (April 2021)

PEOPLE are being invited to one of two online ‘question and answer’ sessions in advance of the launch of a new organisation, provisionally called the West Lancashire Resilience Society (WLRS).

The one-hour events to be held at 6pm on Tuesday, April 27, and repeated at the same time on Thursday April 29 will introduce the main concepts behind the planned new society, and will be of interest to potential directors as well as to those interested in membership and, when the time comes, investment in ‘community shares’.

Details of the events, and how to book a free place, are on the new website.

There is also a contact form on the website to allow people to submit written questions and comments, and the group will respond to these as fully as they possibly can.

Speaking ahead of the event, one of the people involved in planning the new society, Ormskirk resident Paul Cotterill, said: “The two Q&A events are being held both to raise awareness and gauge interest in what the new society will offer. The concept has already got us as far as being national finalists for a key social innovation award, and we like to think we’re on to something, but it’s local people who will tell us whether we’re right about.”

Community Shares

Paul continued: “The basic ‘offer’ we’re proposing is to support our local town centres through the issuance of ‘community shares’, under the regulation of the Financial Conduct Authority, with the resources raised then invested in local businesses or premises where there is mutual benefit for owners and for the Society’s members.

“There are also a number of ‘ancillary projects’ in the pipeline, designed to complement that core offer and all around a theme of financial resilience.

“Of course, none of this can happen without due reference to how the pandemic may change our local economies, and the Q&A session will give space to this important aspect.

“A working draft business plan with three year financial projections is available on the website as a ‘rough cut’, for those who want to get into the detail. The society must be transparent in its objectives and activities right from the start.

“One important point to stress is that we’re not seeking to compete either with local businesses or the local voluntary sector, which has done an extraordinary job in helping us all get through the age of Covid to date.

“Part of the reason for the Q&A is to allay any such concerns, and to take views on how we’ll act to complement and support what is already being done by others.”

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