The vast majority of business owners (92%) are focusing on giving back to their communities, says the American Express Small Business Monitor.

In fact, most owners (86%) say it’s participating in and running events, for example, is one of the top benefits of running a business.

Though community initiatives don’t directly bring in money, “owners are as passionate about being a part of communities as they are about their businesses,” says Athena Varmazis, VP and general manager of small business services at American Express Canada.

Read: Small business key to recovery

That’s encouraging since being socially responsible helps build brands, says the survey. It found more than one third of those polled (34%) have attracted and retained a loyal client base through community involvement.

As well, about one-fifth (20%) reported business growth over the last five years as a result of local, social events and initiatives. These also help strengthen employee morale, according to 77% of business owners.

Overall, owners are optimistic about their futures. They have “a refreshed and positive attitude towards the outlook of their businesses [for 2014],” says Varmazis.


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