The COVID-19 took so much from people. Lives, jobs, homes, businesses, mental health—and so much more. Small businesses, in particular, were among the first ones to feel the impact of the pandemic. And after just a few weeks after the first lockdown, so many businesses were forced to close down—oftentimes permanently.
For businesses that have managed to survive the pandemic and are continuing to do so, now is the best time to give back to the community that has helped them weather the storm. With that, here are some ideas on how your small business can provide support to the community today:
Nowadays, the marginalized sector needs all the help they can get. People are struggling to find jobs, secure housing, and put food on the table every single day as the country continues to suffer from economic losses brought about by the pandemic. That said, one of the best ways to give back to the community is to volunteer, be it a homeless shelter, a food bank, a donation drive, and more.
If you engage in multiple volunteering activities, it is highly advisable to use a CSR management platform to help you increase engagement, visibility, and efficiency in all of your CSR efforts. Not only will it make it easier for your business to stay on top of volunteering and other CSR activities, but it is also a great way to inspire employees with the fruits of your efforts.
Donating funds is one of the best ways to provide support to the community. Several charities and non-profit organizations actively respond to the COVID-19 crisis, both on national and local levels. If you are already donating to national organizations, consider directing your funds to local organizations where your donations could make a faster impact, such as local soup kitchens or food banks.
Sponsor school supplies
With schools starting to hold face-to-face classes again, it is a struggle for many households to buy school supplies on top of other necessities like food and housing. That said, another great way to provide immediate support to the community is to sponsor school supplies for households that could use help in sending their children back to school.
Match employee donations
Inspire employees to donate by matching their contributions to non-profit organizations. You can even go further by rewarding their generosity with recognition or physical rewards like gift baskets or cards. Aside from making a significant impact on the community, matching your employees’ donations can also motivate them to donate more frequently, knowing that their donations will be supplemented.
Feed the hungry
If you are a food business, offering free food to the hungry can create a more immediate impact on the community compared to donating to non-profits (although both options are good). Consider putting together relief packs for low-income households, offering free meals to the homeless, and encouraging customers to donate to your endeavor.
If you are not a food business, you can also help fund local food banks or make donations in kind. You can also partner with other small businesses to leverage bulk-purchasing discounts and make an even bigger impact on the community.
Help out health workers
The health sector is currently one of the most overworked industries in the world—especially during COVID-19. And just because health care workers have managed to keep their jobs doesn’t mean they aren’t struggling themselves. Most have a hard time coping with the increased workload, and some struggle to feed their families.
Offering help to health care workers can cause a positive domino effect: you can make their lives at least a bit easier, and in turn, they are better able to perform at work where they help out other people.
Here are some of the best ways you can offer help to this specific demographic:
- Offer special discounts for goods and services
- Donate food to health care facilities
- Offer freebies for customers in the health care industry
- Sponsoring meals for health care workers in COVID-19 centers
Even small things like a free cupcake when they buy coffee at your business can put a smile on their face, and that kind of positivity can resonate with the people they take care of.
During these difficult times, communities must work together to help ensure that everyone has the support they need. These are just some of the ways you can give back to the local community that has helped get your business through the pandemic, but doing just even one of these things can already make a huge impact.