As a small business owner, you have the opportunity to help your community stay strong. For every $100 spent locally, $68 returns to the community. Small businesses enhance their community’s sense of place and identity and make a huge difference in the neighborhood.
What steps can you take to make sure your community stays strong? The 3,000+ businesses we work with know exactly how to do it. We’ve compiled their tips and tricks, among others, on how to support your neighborhood.
1. Doing Good, Pays
Blue Iguana, a Fairfax, VA, restaurant, makes it a goal for their staff to participate in or host at least 60 charity events each year. Inviting charities into their space for events gets people excited, and brings the community closer together. As Blue Iguana says, “this is our home, and the people of this community are our family.”
Helping a charity that works for a cause you believe in, and helps the community you live and work in, lets them do more of the great work they’re already doing. Adding a donation box near your register can help, but there’s more you can do, too.
2. Organize a Scholarship
Johnny Macaroni’s, a local Boston Restaurant, organizes a scholarship for a graduating high school senior every year. To personalize it, and further their connection with students, the scholarship is awarded to someone hoping to work in the restaurant industry. Investing money in the youth of your community helps them succeed, gives people another reason to talk about your business, and empowers the next generation.
3. Help Out Employees At Other Local Businesses
Paris Creperie, a Coolidge Corner Staple, always aims to make Coolidge Corner extra inviting for new businesses getting started there. “Whenever a small business moves in,” says manager Shane Hyman, “we make it a point to reach out, and offer something like a discount to Paris Creperie for their employees. We do that for any small business in the area.”
4. Share Great Customers With Other Neighborhood Businesses
Your customers keep your business strong, which means they could keep other businesses strong, too. You can promote other businesses on social media, recommend other neighboring businesses to your customers in person, or use Nifts to give them gifts to try out businesses at no cost to you.
Nift makes it easy to thank your customers with $30 Neighborhood Gift cards, which will bring them to another business in their area. Plus, when you thank customers with Nift gift cards, it’s a little effort that goes a long way. Thanked customers are happy customers, which means they’ll come back, and spend, more. And keeping just 5% more of your customers can increase profits up to 95%.
Rich Gaccione, manager at ULA Café in Jamaica Plain, says “Nift is a way to tie businesses together. It’s a natural way to build community. Nift lets our customers try something new when we give out Nift cards—whatever business is in the neighborhood they didn’t know about.”
By bringing your community together, you’re helping your neighborhood thrive. It’s all about leveraging the work you already do: whether you have a great social media presence and can shout out other businesses, or a really clear mission that naturally extends to charity partnerships or scholarships, there are ways to make your business stand out as a big part of your community.