Community spirit is a big part of Newfoundland and Labrador culture. Newfoundland and Labrador has a unique population distribution, with just over half of the province’s population spread across hundreds of rural communities and the other half located in St. John’s, the province’s capital. Keeping all of Newfoundland and Labrador’s communities and cities healthy and thriving is an ongoing priority for the province, and business owners often do their part by giving back to community groups through volunteering, and financial and in-kind contributions.
Not only is giving back to the community important for keeping communities, big or small, healthy, it is also an important part of building loyalty between customers and businesses. When a business gives its time and resources to a community, a community will want to support it in turn, as a show of appreciation. Giving back as a business owner builds a reputation—that you and your business believe in community and having a strong quality of life—and this helps to strengthen the image and brand of your business.
For a business owner, being active in the community has its share of rewards. For one thing, employees respect leaders who give back and will feel a sense of pride in working for an establishment that redistributes its resources through the community. When employees believe in their place of work, they are more loyal, they work harder, and there are lower rates of absenteeism. Additionally, being involved in the community gives business owners a chance to connect with people in the area and build relationships that go beyond a business transaction. Strong ties between community members and local businesses make communities a better place to live.
If you’re wondering how to give back to your community, you can try some of these easy ways to help make your community a better place to live.
- Promote a local business on your Facebook page. If you have a Facebook page, why not give a shout-out to another local business in one of your posts? Sharing their message with your followers can lead to sales for that business. When $100 is spent on a local business, $68 will remain in the community, strengthening the economy and increasing the standard of living for all residents.
- Offer your retail location as a drop-off spot for non-perishable food items for a food drive. If you have a retail location or office space, you can use it to help gather items for food or clothing drives. Not only are you helping out the cause, but you are also showcasing your business location and getting a chance to interact with potential customers one-on-one.
- Sponsor a local sports team. Local sports teams, youth groups, or not-for-profit organizations are often looking for sponsors for a host of reasons. For a small financial contribution, you may be able to get a tangible marketing reward: include your logo on sports jerseys, place your banner at a tournament, or receive an ad in a conference booklet. Not only are these marketing rewards helpful for promoting your brand, they are also promoting the idea that your brand believes in healthy communities and community development.
- Encourage your employees to volunteer. There are many individual benefits to volunteering, including meeting new people, learning new skills, and gaining hands-on experience dealing with the community. As a business owner, you can create opportunities to bond with your staff and team members in a volunteering experience. You may choose to offer hands-on volunteering to an organization, or you may do something fun and active, like enter a team in a charity run. There are a number of ways you can give back to a community with your employees; it’s just a matter of choosing one that works best for your team.
- Set up a collection jar at your place of business. If there is a cause you believe in or are willing to collect donations for, a simple way to offer your support is to set up a collection jar at your office or retail location. Customers may choose to donate after completing their transactions with you, and it could be a great conversation piece along the way.
- Join a board of directors. Joining a board of directors is an excellent way to donate your time, and it can also have a number of professional benefits to entrepreneurs, including making new contacts and increasing the exposure of your business.
- Offer your expertise pro bono to a group. Entrepreneurs often go into business because they are experts in something. One way you can give back to the community is by donating your time to organizations that could really benefit from your expertise.
There are great rewards for giving back to a community, and at the end of the day, healthy communities are beneficial to everyone. It makes good business sense and good citizen sense to do your part to give back.