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Top 10 reasons small business owners should give back to the community

City Centre Mirror

Jody Steinhauer is the president and CBO (Chief Bargaining Officer) of the Bargains Group, an award-winning Canadian discount wholesaler of promotional products.

An innovative social purpose business and champion of corporate social responsibility, the Bargains Group founded Project Winter Survival and Project Water, two programs that benefit the homeless, and Give Back Where You Live. Recently named as one of Canada’s top 100 female entrepreneurs by PROFIT Magazine and Chatelaine, Jody Steinhauer lists her top 10 reasons small business owners should give back to the community.

1. Good for the body and the soul: Knowing that you’ve helped make a difference can increase self-esteem. Research has also shown giving back has health benefits.

2. Employee engagement: Engaging your employees in a cause marketing initiative provides an exciting opportunity to bond as a team and strengthen loyalty among staff.

3. Competitive edge: Potential hires are attracted to businesses that practice corporate social responsibility.

4. Leveraging skills and services: Giving back doesn’t have to be a monetary or product donation. Not-for-profits also require volunteers for much-needed services that you may promote within your own business. You aren’t just donating your time, but also your expertise.

5. Learn new skills: Being involved in a cause provides ways to practice new skills. Junior staff can take on tasks that allow them to practice leadership and planning skills.

6. Provides opportunities for new business and growth: Giving back can open many doors to new business development. It also strengthens existing relationships with clients, suppliers and members of your community.

7. Lead by example: As a business leader, it’s important to set an example in your community. Your efforts will be recognized.

8. Bragging rights: Social responsibility goes hand-in-hand with corporate culture, so include it in your mission statement. Let your clients and other stakeholders know you’re involved.

9. Beneficial to the economy: The more the business community can give back to the not-for-profit sector, the more sustainable non-profits can become.

10. Giving back makes good business sense: There are many charitable causes that rely on donations, volunteers and other types of support. As business leaders, we can make a difference by providing assistance where it’s needed.