Business and community synergy is not just a moral obligation but a strategic necessity. Creating a reciprocal relationship between businesses and their surrounding communities leads to mutual growth and sustainability. From small local enterprises to global corporations, the positive impact of community engagement is undeniable on its effects within the community. Achieving a harmonious balance will fuel economic success and social progress.
What is a community?
According to dictionary.com, a community is a social group of any size whose members reside in a specific locality, share government, and often have a common cultural and historical heritage. It is also defined as ‘a locality inhabited by such a group.’ Essentially, a community reflects our united efforts and contributions. In the context of this discussion, ‘community’ refers to both tangible and digital spaces, along with the businesses operating in these areas. Collectively, they profoundly influence the everyday experiences of those residing within this community.
The importance of businesses and communities connecting
We are at a critical point where businesses and the community need to have a synergetic relationship for many reasons. As a small business in Newark, New Jersey, we recognize the value of community engagement and support. Engaging with other local businesses and through community events, we are:
- holding each other and local government accountable
- supporting the causes, fights, and issues that matter to each other within the community
- helping each other grow- while businesses build brand awareness and even increase sales, communities grow sustained by the investment in the local economy through jobs and taxes
- developing comradery around shared goals
- building morale and improved quality of life in communities and workplaces
Advantages of business and community synergy
A phenomenal blog post on the Canadian-based website Oliverpos.com discusses “7 ways small businesses benefit the community.” Some say that small businesses are the backbone of our country. There are so many ways small businesses benefit the community; they create jobs for locals, they encourage economic growth, and they lessen the environmental impact – just to name a few. As a small business ourselves, we know sometimes the struggle to compete with the big brands and to stand out among the crowd can seem almost impossible.
- Job Opportunities. Clearly, one of the most important ways small businesses benefit the community is by creating job growth and providing locals with job opportunities – an overall positive in terms of a healthy economy and a happy community.
- Money influx into the local economy. When customers patronize a local business, most of the money they spend will end up circulating back into the local community. Small businesses tend to outsource with other local businesses – for example, if a local coffee shop wants to find a graphic designer to create a new logo for their business, or if a local retailer needs to invest in some renovations, those small companies are more likely to seek out another small business in their local area instead of going with a large company.
- Generated tax support local! Taxes paid to small businesses and the local taxes paid by small businesses end up paying for community improvements such as schools, green space, public transit, and health care. Conversely, taxes paid to big corporations, or when shopping online, may not stay within the local circuit.
- Build community identity. Another one of the ways small businesses benefit the community is they become representatives of their community. They reflect the communities from which they come – having been founded by local entrepreneurs and maintained by local employees; small businesses are a portrait of the local area. Likewise, these businesses become part of the local landscape.
- Community involvement. Small businesses are more likely to contribute to charities, especially local ones. Small Biz Trends finds that 52% of small businesses donate to charity. Small business owners tend also to sponsor, organize, and host local events to maintain a lively community. Plus, as previously mentioned, giving locals job opportunities is another way small businesses help the community.
- Diversity in the local marketplace. … most successful business owners tend to be innovative, creative entrepreneurs with a one-of-a-kind idea. Not only does this encourage more innovation and growth within the community, but it also creates a more diverse marketplace. If your local businesses offer something unique, it adds to the tourist appeal of your area, gives your community a more distinct personality, and a diverse marketplace also leads to well-served and satisfied customers.
- Better for the environment. For one thing, local businesses tend to set up shop in pre-existing buildings. Bigger companies and corporations often get infrastructures built for them – leading to less green space in the community and more harmful materials. Small businesses don’t take more space – they use the space that’s already there, which is what environmental conservation is all about.
Additionally, small businesses also tend to carry locally produced products or products from smaller manufacturers, both of which have much less impact on the environment. Finally, small businesses tend to be in community centers where it’s more common to walk or cycle. This means fewer patrons and employees will have to drive to access the business.
What is social responsibility?
Social responsibility means that individuals and companies must act in the best interests of their environment and society as a whole. As it applies to business, social responsibility is known as corporate social responsibility (CSR) and is becoming a more prominent area of focus within businesses due to shifting social norms.
The crux of this theory is to enact policies that promote an ethical balance between the dual mandates of striving for profitability and benefiting society as a whole. These policies can be either commission (philanthropy: donations of money, time, or resources) or omission (e.g., “go green” initiatives such as reducing greenhouse gases or abiding by U.S. Environmental Protection Agency regulations to limit pollution). (Investopedia)
Are you ready to connect your business with the community?
Actively participating in your community not only fosters resilience in your business and among your employees, but it also cultivates a more positive environment overall. Although the primary goal isn’t self-interest, engaging with the community enhances your brand’s reputation, encourages employee retention by demonstrating your company’s commitment to communal welfare, and contributes to creating a more desirable place for living and working. Exquisite Property Services is a catalyst for change. Our services are delivered with a keen focus on environmental sustainability and community well-being at the forefront of all we do. Contact us to learn more about enhancing your business and supporting your community.