It can be said that corporate investment can have a lot of influence on the places that they operate – particularly when millions of dollars are invested in projects such as construction and commercial solutions. In a world where increasingly partisan politics has diluted the reputation of political powers, the influence of corporates has grown.
In fact, many businesses seek to understand how their social license can create meaningful, positive change in their communities. Let’s explore some of the many ways a business can positively impact society – and how a business can become more than a simple proprietor of goods and services.
Jobs For The Community
One of the most immediate benefits that many businesses have in their communities is the provision of employment opportunities for locals. For example, national supermarket brand Woolworths employs nearly two hundred thousand people – every time a store opens in a new location, by necessity they have to hire more people.
Depending on the size and scale of a business, employee volume may differ. A cafe may provide opportunities for baristas, a gym, personal trainers – and so on. One of the largest positive impacts that a business can have on society is simply through the provision of employment – after all if there were no businesses, there’d be no jobs.
For many community sporting clubs, fundraising is often a difficult but necessary part of financing a team. With thousands of different sporting clubs and community interests around the country, being able to reduce the number of fundraising events that need to be held provides valuable time for volunteers to give back to their club, without constantly having to run a local barbecue or cake stall.
One of the many benefits of business influence is the ability to provide corporate sponsorship, to support a club or interest that may align with the company’s interests. This can not only be incredibly helpful to clubs, but it allows businesses to present a corporate identity – rather than just being a business, they can be an engaged member of the community.
Diversifying Product Availability
While it may be nice to have a single supermarket in town, for many communities, having the flexibility of choice can be seen as a major benefit. By having many different businesses within a community, stakeholders experience the positives of diversity within establishments, such as a wider range of locally available goods and services.
Have you ever found it hard to find a product locally? After all, if you have only one electronics store, it can be difficult to get a specific product – by having multiple, varied brands within a community, it can often be easier to find the product you want without having to shop online.
Promoting Community Identity
One of the more well-understood benefits of businesses is their ability to provide a base for community identity. Businesses that have a focus on industries such as hospitality or tourism often have to promote your community to bring business in – after all, if you don’t have a great community, why would you want to travel there to shop and dine?
It’s imperative that businesses form a positive presence within the communities they serve – particularly if they want to survive in the long term. After all, there’s nothing more memorable than the small-time lolly shop owner that wants to understand what you like as a customer – or the fish and chip shop that has the best chips. They provide a certain level of nostalgia that encourages you to return to the community in the future – providing yet another way that a business can form a positive benefit for their community.
They Help Keep The Main Street Flowing
One last thing to consider is the benefit of a well-rented main street. In recent years, discussion of measures such as a vacancy tax on empty commercial rentals has drawn criticism and the ire of observers – particularly as businesses shift to an increasingly online setting.
By encouraging businesses to rent properties on the main street, the community can benefit by continuing to fill shopfronts that are impacted by turnover and business changes. It presents a constant state of change but doesn’t make a town look like it’s going out of business.
There are many different ways that businesses can have a positive impact on communities. From being able to hire staff, to promoting and driving a positive community identity, businesses have never been in such a great position to help the communities they serve.