There is a relationship between small business success and strong local communities.
That relationship is built over time and is circular in nature. At a basic level, the relationship develops when the business is viewed as a community member and supporter, more residents shop there and talk about it. As more residents display those behaviors, additional people are drawn to check out the store.
This relationship probably doesn’t surprise you. Think about reasons you shop at certain stores.
First, you had to have heard of the store. Next, you come back because of its selection and value. Last, you may talk about it to other and going there is what you do because of what the store represents.
All three of these elements are met, in part, by a store’s management and employees being involved in a variety of ways in the community. From sponsorships to supporting various projects to serving on boards and committees, these practices, and many others, form part of the store’s brand.
Showing community social responsibility, or “community spirit” as it is often referenced, therefore, can be a key element in business success.
Researchers support this idea finding that commitment to community, community support, and sense of community are correlated with both business income as well as the owner’s feeling of business success.
And other research has noted that the higher positive attitudes the stronger the relationship. The stronger the relationship the more positive impact on both the community and the business.
Small businesses, their owners and employees are an important part of the human, social, and financial resources found in the community. Small businesses and citizens acting collectively becomes part of the community culture. Small businesses showing its social responsibility becomes part of its culture as well.
The bottom line for business owners is that being a good community citizen can be a win-win for all.
- About the Author
- Latest by this Author
Glenn Muske is an independent expert on rural small business, working as GM Consulting – Your partner in achieving small business success. He provides consulting, and writes articles for county extension agents and newspapers across North Dakota. Previously, he was the Rural and Agribusiness Enterprise Development Specialist at the North Dakota State University Extension Service – Center for Community Vitality.