How involved is your business in the local community? Did you know that 91% of consumers worldwide believe that companies need to do more than just accrue money? Support local business movements have been growing across the country because “locally owned businesses create communities that are more prosperous, entrepreneurial, connected, and generally better off across a wide range of metrics,” a notion supported by a growing body of research.

But how can your locality support your business, if it is not familiar with your brand? Community involvement enhances brand recognition and the reputation of a company, and also contributes to the recruitment and retention of talent; this is according to findings from the 2015 Community Involvement Survey conducted by the Boston College Center for Corporate Citizenship.

The study found that while the traditional top areas of investment (education and youth programs) have remained steady, there has been an increasing focus on health and wellness programs. Aligning your business strategy to focus your resources on community issues where you company can have the best impact, can lead to a substantial return on your investment and have the added benefit of helping your company enhance its image, create valuable partnerships, and boost its bottom line.

Wondering what it takes to start a community initiative? Survey your employees; see what causes and local activities they support. This will not only create employee buy-in to the idea, but can provide valuable insight into what drives your workforce. Then research your surrounding area to determine what topics are important to the people who live there. Not sure where to go to find this information? We can help.