Giving back: how small businesses can help support local communities

This year has presented a unique set of challenges for individuals, businesses and communities. Yet, at a time when social distancing remains imperative, community and connection is perhaps more important than ever – particularly for small-business owners. In fact, recent GoDaddy research revealed that 59 per cent of Australian small-business owners say that, in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s now more important to positively impact their community. What’s more, 55 per cent of respondents believe that long-term success is dependent on having strong morals and values.

As a small-business owner, supporting your local community can be an important way to build strong, meaningful relationships with customers and stakeholders. With many small-business owners believing community will be key to their long-term success, here are some ways you could help make a positive impact with your local community.

Online community building

Community comes in many forms, but for most small businesses, the most obvious form is your customers. Online channels have been invaluable in helping people stay connected during the pandemic, and may be in the immediate future, too, for areas still in lockdown or for customers who are cautious about physical interactions. For example, you could consider teaching a class or hosting a workshop online. If you own a local bakery, for instance, consider sharing tips on baking the perfect loaf of bread. Perhaps most importantly during a period of concern and uncertainty, use an online presence to engage with your community; ask questions, seek feedback, tell them what you’re working on and find out what they need from your business.

Support other businesses

One of the best things about getting involved in your local community is the opportunity to build relationships with other businesses. At a time when it’s perhaps more important than ever to support local, consider how you can connect with complementary businesses to provide support for one another. For

instance, if you run a small yoga studio, consider partnering with a local coffee shop to offer a discount on coffees for those who attend specific classes. These complementary relationships can be a great way to show support for your small business community, while also potentially increasing awareness for your business with a wider customer base.

You may also want to keep an eye out for local events to take part in. Your support could be as involved as hosting a local business get-together or as simple as promoting the names of your favourite local businesses – your local coffee shop, your logo designer or where you buy your supplies – on your website or social media platforms.

Make what’s important to them important to you

Environmentally-conscious decisions are at the forefront of many of today’s community initiatives, with 77 per cent of Australian households citing environmental issues as a major concern. Small-business owners owners recognise this, too, with GoDaddy research finding 91 per cent believe it’s important for businesses to operate in an environmentally-conscious way. So, consider how adopting environmentally-friendly practices could have positive implications for your business and local community. If you’re a coffee shop, for example, you may want to consider offering discounts for those who bring reusable cups to reduce single-use cups. Your local community may be more interested to support your business if they see you demonstrating that you’re serious about the things that matter to them.

No matter how you decide to give back locally as a small business, you may find that positive involvement in your community can have long-lasting benefits, for both your business and those around you. And remember, every bit really does help.

Suzanne Mitchell, Australia Marketing Director, GoDaddy

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