In these tough economic times, I believe it’s more important than ever for small businesses and entrepreneurs to support their local communities. Although many believe they’re powerless to aid their neighbors while still running a profitable business, you may be surprised what opportunities abound when you are innovative in your approach to giving back.
Giving back can come in many forms; even the smallest gestures can go a long way in supporting some aspect of your community and also fostering a positive, healthy work environment for you and your employees. I’d like to challenge businesses of all sizes to identify ways to support their local neighbors. Here are a few suggestions to get started:
Be creative. Businesses have the opportunity to make a difference in their local communities if they think creatively. Often traditional thinking does not enable businesses or their communities to realize significant benefits. By changing the rules of the game and developing novel business models and practices, it is more than possible for small businesses to financially support their neighbors.
Go green. Making a difference doesn’t always have to come in monetary form. There are little things small businesses can do to be more energy-efficient, contributing to their local and global communities by reducing their carbon footprints. Start with small things such as recycling and reducing energy consumption by installing double thermal-pane windows and low-wattage or motion-sensitive lighting. Perhaps one day you’ll consider moving into an entirely eco-friendly facility.
Think trash-to-treasure. Don’t discount the value of possessions your company no longer needs. Old shelving, for example, could be donated to local libraries to save them the cost of purchasing new units. Before you throw away unneeded items, call around to your local libraries, schools, and shelters to see which might relish the donation.
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