How Your Company Can Give Back

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Owning a business carries a ton of obligations and expectations. You need to provide for your employees and clients — good wages and reliable service at a reasonable price. It’s also a good idea to give back to your community. Whether it’s helping host a fundraiser or urging your employees to volunteer in their free time, there are tons of options to become a pillar in your area.

Here are a few ideas for businesses interested in reciprocating:

1. Personally Volunteer

Sometimes the easiest way to give back is personal. If you volunteer your time in and around the community — and urge your employees to do the same when they are free — you’ll help build an environment rich in civil service. Further, personal participation is a great chance to lead by example. Not only will you personally help those around you, but you’ll also motivate your employees and make them proud to be working for you.

Business often gets in the way of volunteer work, and making sure to plan your schedule will help secure your personal time. Make personal volunteering a priority. Everyone around you will notice the difference.

2. Buy Local

Local businesses need to stick together. When you buy local — either personally or on behalf of your company — you immediately become a team player for the greater community. In turn, the businesses you buy from will likely feel obligated to help you out and encourage their clients and customers to do the same. It will also further emphasize your position as a community leader and contributor.

Products from local businesses often cost more, and how much you want to purchase is entirely up to you. Other small business owners will certainly understand the struggle of competing with better prices from large corporations. However, small shows of community contribution and purchasing can go a long way.

3. Sponsor/Create a Local Event

Getting your business’ name on a local event — particularly if it’s something charitable — can help the community and solidify your image as a benevolent force in the area. Try to find something that will help bring members of the community together — something that is fun for the participants. Then consider donating some or all of the profits to a local charity or nonprofit with a good message you think reflects your business philosophy.

4. Encourage Your Employees to Volunteer

You can go a step further than personally volunteering and leading by example. If an employee is interested in doing positive volunteer around the community or elsewhere, you can encourage them by giving them requested time off and even a bit of money if their work includes going abroad. It’s a relatively small investment for spreading good tidings elsewhere.

Be the Business the Community Appreciates

No matter how you choose to approach it, your business can help the community, and vice versa. By taking some basic steps to be an active player and contributor within the town or city, you will send good vibes and attract more business from those around you.

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Scott Huntington is a writer from Harrisburg PA. Find his work on Business Insider, Yahoo Autos, Time, INC, and more. Follow him on Twitter @SMHuntington.