Survey Finds Three-Quarters of Small Businesses Give to Communities
Being a small business owner means more than just running a store or offering a service. More often than not, it also means being a part of a community and having a positive influence. That belief was on full display in a recent study by TD Bank that found nearly three-quarters of small businesses give back to their communities by supporting local charities and causes.
TD Bank’s study surveyed the owners of 502 small businesses with annual revenues of $5 million or less. What they found was that 61% of respondents donated charitable gifts, sponsorships, and/or volunteered time to their community each year. Moreover, while that figure represents those donating up to $10,000 in value, another 16% said they donated as much as $50,000 to their community (in either time or gifts) annually.
Looking specifically at how business owners are giving back to their community, the most common response (with 35%) was the donation of goods, such as products or food. This was followed by cash donations and volunteer time, both of which 29% of respondents report giving. Lastly 12% of those surveyed said they supported their communities by donating space for special events. As for what types of organizations were most popular among small business owners, 30% said they supported charities ,while 29% looked to schools, youth sports teams, and other youth-centric organizations. Meanwhile 18% said they gave to religious organizations, while another 18% supported their local first responders. Arts programs (16%) and environmental causes (14%) also proved popular.
Commenting on the study’s finding, TD Bank’s Head of Commercial Specialty Segments Jay DesMarteau said in a statement, “Most small businesses, by their nature, are entrenched in their local cities and towns, serving as both an economic engine and a resource. Small business owners are local heroes. It is commendable that so many business owners find ways to give back when they themselves can often be strapped for time or resources.” He went on to say, “Developing a mission statement for charitable giving or volunteering should be part of any long-term business plan, however, to ensure any strategy is viable for both the community and the business owner.”
One of the things that makes small businesses special is the personal touch they can offer to customers. Similarly many consumers see small businesses as being a unique part of their neighborhood. Therefore it’s no wonder why so many entrepreneurs have made it a point to give back to their communities and support local organizations. While it may not always be easy to donate cash or products, volunteering or offering space for events can be great ways to show you care about your customers and the community around you.