Mutual retailer The Co-operative Group has donated a significant amount of money to charity The High Street Fund to help victims of the recent UK riots, it was confirmed today.
Co-op has promised £100,000 to the organisation which was set-up following the disturbances earlier this month, to support small businesses which may have suffered property damage or stock loss and help them return to business as usual.
The initial aim of the fund is to offer advice and funding to help affected small businesses rebuild their livelihoods but the charity hopes to continue working with these firms to keep them on the UK’s high streets.
Peter Marks, Co-op Group CEO, said: “Small businesses are vital to the social and economic fabric of this country. In the current economic climate, the impact of such destructive, criminal activity has been devastating to these businesses, which in turn affects the communities in which they operate.
“It is therefore only right that The Co-operative Group throws its weight behind efforts to help small businesses through this difficult time and make sure that they are able to continue to play their vital role in our communities.”
As an employee-owned business, Co-op prides itself for its community-based initiatives and moral sensibilities, and was the first major retailer to pull its advertising with disgraced former newspaper title The News of The World following hacking allegations earlier this summer.
The retailer’s grocery arm has also been facing hardship recently, with profits for its first half period ending July 2nd 2011 down 20 per cent year-on-year according to results published this week.