Don’t judge a business by its size. Small companies have more of any impact on their communities than you may realize—28.8 million small businesses employ 56.8 million people and account for 54 percent of all U.S. sales. And, approximately two-thirds of small businesses donate a portion of their profits – about 6 percent on average. Let’s take a look at some of the ways small businesses are making a big difference in their local communities.
Beyond baked goods
For over 20 years, Richmond, California-based Rubicon Bakers has been making more than tasty treats. They’ve been giving people with criminal records or substance abuse problems a second chance. The baker provides employment, training, and support to help those needing a fresh start in life. Hiring ex-cons and people transitioning from life on the streets or addiction may seem like a risky endeavor, but owner Andrew Stoloff says they have very low employee attrition.
More than a job
The owner of a Gymboree Play and Music franchise considers his community to be both the Portland, Oregon neighborhood where his business is based, as well as the new parents who bring their infants and toddlers to Gymboree classes. Mark Hanscom encourages job applicants to share their life experiences—something that worked out well when he hired Karen Mares. The new mom was dealing with postpartum depression and credited the Gymboree job as the opportunity that saved her life.
Sprucing up a city park
A Jersey City business recently pledged $100,000 to support the city’s newest municipal park. Ideal Supply Company will donate the money over the course of five years to pay for capital improvements, maintenance, special events, and equipment purchases at the park.
An eatery with a conscience
One of New York City’s newest restaurants is focused not only on sustainable meals, but also on the surrounding community. PS Kitchen has pledged to help create jobs for marginalized city residents by partnering with charities including Share Hope, DEFY and The Doe Fund. The eatery also donates 100 percent of its proceeds to these organizations.
What can your business do?
Whether it’s a one-time donation or a long term commitment, small businesses are making a positive impact on their local communities. How will you make a difference in yours?