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.
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.