Displaying the flag, marching in a hometown parade, buying local. These are all ways citizens show pride in their country and in their community. And small business owners are joining in. It’s good for the community, and it’s good for business. In fact, a 2010 study by the Fidelity Charitable Gift Fund reports that 6 out of 10 entrepreneurs felt that giving back to their communities made their businesses more successful in the long run.
There are a number of ways to show your community pride. And not all require a monetary donation. The key is to be genuine. Choose an activity that appeals to you. Here are 25 ways your small business can promote your own brand of community pride:
- Donate in-kind office supplies to a nonprofit organization.
- Source supplies for your business from other local businesses.
- Add the phrase “Proud Supporter of [city name]” as part of your business’s promotional efforts.
- Volunteer to serve on the board of directors for a nonprofit organization.
- Sponsor a flag display at a local park.
- Sponsor a “What I Like Best About [city name] ” essay contest with local schools.
- Allow employees to use one hour of work time to participate in a community service project.
- Volunteer to staff the welcome booth at the local airport, where you provide information to travelers on local activities.
- Serve refreshments at a local job fair for veterans.
- Participate in a community service project as a team building activity for your employees. For example, collect food for the local food bank. Wear your company t-shirts on that day.
- On your website, feature an employee who is active in community service.
- Give an award each year to an individual or organization for a community project.
- Sponsor an exhibit at the local library that profiles famous local citizens.
- Create a competition with other small businesses for the best Independence Day store decorations.
- Raise funds for a school field trip to the state capital or county court house.
- Give away flags for people to wave at the local Independence Day Parade.
- Establish a “Buy [city name]” section of your store to feature items made locally.
- Participate in the Adopt-a-Highway program where your business sponsors a section of highway.
- Offer to keep a collection for a local charity at your cash register where customers can drop in their spare change.
- Ask customers to donate one dollar at the point of purchase to a local charity. Promote that your business will match their contributions.
- Advertise in local community newsletters.
- Contribute to swag bags for a local running or bicycling event.
- Offer to print programs for local events (homecoming, Independence Day, local festivals).
- Sponsor a local sports team (baseball, swimming, bowling, volleyball).
- Partner with a veterans’ organization to provide care bags to deployed soldiers.
Local pride is good for the community and for your business. Give your small business a voice by promoting your own brand of genuine community pride.