Business and The Community: How Big Is The Impact?

It’s not hard to see how business decisions can affect the company’s employees, customers, stakeholders and supply chain, but how much of an impact does a business have on the community around it? Do local residents watch how businesses behave? Do you think they acknowledge a relationship between what the business does and how it influences their community?

Throughout history, it has become apparent that a community and its people can be both economically and socially changed based on the choices of local businesses. Let’s look at two of the biggest impacts a company can have on a community.

Economic Impacts

The community can see real economic value from a well-run organization that employs local citizens and increases business in the surrounding areas. Solid employment numbers can result in increased revenue in the community, more home buying and less foreclosing and more motivation for growth. Positive employment numbers ripple into increased spending in other local shops and stores and can improve the area’s standard of living. Thanks to business income taxes, employment taxes and property taxes, communities and governments can see a great deal of revenue from small businesses and corporations. This tax income can be used to build the community by developing and improving infrastructure, public buildings and other community services.

If a local company is experiencing hardship, it can create issues for the community. The best thing a company can do during challenging times is to communicate. They should let the community know about local investments and financial ramifications that might occur so they feel acknowledged and validated. Knowledge is power and when people are informed by the business in question, rather than listening to speculation, it can alleviate unwarranted stress. It can also help maintain the business’s reputation.

No company is exempt from difficulty. It is a part of any financial landscape. What sets the successful businesses apart from the rest is how they handle themselves during the ups and downs.

Social Impacts

In addition to financial consequences, a business can affect its community socially too. Businesses that exist in populated areas are a part of the local society and they can either be a positive part or a negative one. How a business treats its employees, the community and the environment as a whole can largely influence the community.

A business that treats its employees with respect and fairness will make a lasting impact on the community. Favoritism, discrimination and human rights violations have no place in the work environment or anywhere for that matter. Contentions that arise at work can carry over into the society and neighborhood outside the walls of the company. Businesses should be mindful of how they manage their people and how this can affect life outside of work.

Additionally, businesses that choose to be involved in the community will create a positive give and take relationship with residents. When people see the organization supporting local causes and being involved in the community’s day to day issues it can make a big difference. Businesses can impact politics, education and more just by staying involved in area events. This can create lifelong customers and loyal employees.

We all have a responsibility to our environment, especially companies who participate in activities that release greenhouse emissions or pollution into the environment. If the company has a fleet of vehicles, do they use hybrid or electric cars? Is the company responsible with recycling and managing waste? If not, people are watching and this can have a big effect on the local community and the businesses’ reputation.

It’s critical that businesses think proactively and anticipate what their choices will do to the people and places around them. A strong community can be enhanced by a cooperative company that wants to add to the community and surrounding areas. Conversely, a self-promoting organization that shows no interest or concern for local citizens and the environment can find themselves lacking for customers, clients and employees.

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