By Zachary S. Sielicky
Why did you open the doors to your business? Today’s business owners often say it’s because they want to make a difference, fill a need, solve a problem, or support their community. There is little doubt that business ownership is not just about making money; it is about making a difference. What role will your business play in supporting, molding, and developing our community? That is left up to your goals.
The word “Profit” has been twisted in a way to be synonymous with evil and greedy, when in fact, profits are objectively correlated to increased community investment from businesses.
When local businesses make more money in profit, that means more money is available to be distributed throughout the community. You may help to support a sports team by contributing financially or purchasing uniforms. You may help to sponsor an event taking place to raise money for a charity. Though some do so through well-recognized events, festivals, and programs, others do so behind the scenes. You contribute because they believe in supporting the efforts of the organization, residents, employees, or just the community as a whole. More profit also means bonuses for employees, increased investment into your business, and more hiring opportunities.
Our Members Make a Difference Daily
Our members make a difference in many ways. There are countless ways and opportunities to support our community, give back, or open doors for those living here. Whether it is our locally owned restaurants who provide free food to our friends and neighbors on the street, or businesses like Doneth & Sturdivant Wealth Advisors who donate their time, money, and resources to helping various parts of our community.
One of the incredible ways Doneth & Sturdivant gave back this summer was by providing food from Masonry Grill to fire fighters at 13 different fire stations. They also provided them with gift cards to Straight from New York Pizza. With the motto, “Do what you can,” Doneth and Sturdivant is a prime example of how businesses truly give back to our community.
“Giving back to the community has traditionally looked like sponsoring events or attending charitable functions. Those are great, but the essence of writing a check and walking away from the person or organization loses its power,” Jason Doneth, CEO of Doneth & Sturdivant stated. “What we need is an investment into those people and/or organizations. It’s the giving and giving back with your involvement that can impact a person, which impacts a family, and if enough families are impacted, the very trajectory of a community can change. The difference a single person or organization can make is profound, the problem is that we have too few people and organization who believe they can make things better.”
Creating Important Jobs
Your business is already doing so. For example, you are creating jobs for the community, which ensures that people can find a way to support their families and to work towards reaching their financial goals. Sometimes, the jobs our members offer can provide new opportunities not otherwise present in the community. More jobs also equates to more taxable income in a community. This means more money for schools, transit systems, and the overall growth in your community.
Our members also empower their employees. Imagine the opportunities to learn, grow, and expand. Some help to support the educational goals of their employees by supporting flexible scheduling, tuition reimbursement, or continuing education access. This can change the future path of an individual, allowing that individual to achieve his or her goals. Many times, they come back to the community to use those new skills to better it as well. It is comprehensively worth the investment from all sides.
Contributing to the Positive Culture of the Community
Our members also contribute to the positive culture of the community in many ways. As an independent local association, we help facilitate opportunities to do this by communicating needs. However, many of our members find ways to contribute on their own.
Are You Building a Legacy?
Some entrepreneurs build their businesses themselves as their legacy. They work hard to grow and scale. Others view their greatest impact as what they leave behind within the community. It is the steps they take to make the community better than they found it. Do you hope to leave an imprint? Do you plan to achieve incredible goals?
Many of our members look to find the good and praise it. They volunteer, give away their time, providing discounts on products or services, or simply give their knowledge. They work to support charities, children’s activities, and seniors. They listen, learn, and act to help others in our community to achieve their goals or meet their needs.
As the Chamber of Commerce, we are proud of the business’s efforts to take these steps. We encourage every business owner to take another look inside to find out they can build a legacy that will help our community thrive for future generations.
The author Zachary S. Sielicky is the Membership Manager for the Salem Chamber of Commerce. Zachary advises businesses in the Mid-Willamette Valley on how to connect with the community and fellow businesses. The Salem Chamber is a Convener of leaders, a Catalyst for positive change, and a Champion for a thriving community. Are you a business leader? Find out what kind HERE.