A small business makes many types of impacts on the community. Their annual revenue is just one aspect of how a small business is evaluated. Keep these four other tips in mind when measuring how a small business impacts its community.
Consider Community Involvement
A small business that provides value needs to integrate and involve itself in the community. For some businesses, that might mean offering sponsorship to local groups or organizations. A restaurant might provide free lunch to teachers at a nearby school once per school year. Another way to do this is by offering free or reduced services to certain community members. A printing shop might offer free resume printing services to veterans.
Look at the Business Values
Find out if the business has a mission statement, and take a close look at it. If it does, consider whether or not the company lives up to its stated values. Looking at a company’s mission or vision statement can help you form a framework for evaluating to what degree the business has had a positive impact on the community.
Count Up the Local Jobs
Another way to look at the value of a small business is to consider the local jobs that it provides to members of the community. Employing local people keeps the business’s earnings in the neighborhood. A person who can walk, bike or take the bus to work may occasionally visit the other nearby businesses for lunch, errands, or gifts. Small businesses that provide jobs to local residents also increase the community’s tax base. When there are jobs to be had in a neighborhood, it makes living there more attractive to prospective renters or home buyers.
Build a Community Identity
Small businesses play a role in building a community identity. Walking into a small business helps community residents build solid relationships. They feel included, welcomed, and at ease where they live. Business owners and their workers get to know familiar faces, offer greetings and even get to know a little bit about their customers’ preferences and needs. The result is personalized customer service that cannot be found elsewhere.
These impacts are subjective and not easy to quantify. Even so, they are important to consider when awarding honors to small businesses. These four qualities of local businesses are what make them a resource to the neighborhood.
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