The Little Companies that Do (and Give)

Consider, for a moment, these numbers on the small- to mid-sized business (SMB) community.

  • 28.8 million SMBs
  • 56.8 million employees
  • 60% of new jobs since 2009
  • 99.7% of these companies have 500 or fewer employees

In other words, if the economy was a 4-door sedan, SMBs serve as the turbocharger that gets us there faster.

And because SMBs are almost always community-based, they — and by ‘they,’ I mean their owners and employees — tend to be heavily involved in their communities. Meaning, they’re giving their money and time to worthwhile causes. (Interestingly, they also give a higher percentage of their discretionary income than the much maligned 1 percenters.)

If you walk into a local pizza shop, for example, it’s pretty unlikely that their big-name suppliers like Coca Cola or Kraft, are going to be the sponsors of the local Little League team. But that pizza shop will. And the photograph of that team will likely be right up over the cash register. They’re not just supporting that team, they’re proud to be supporting it.

Similarly, when a local food bank is running a canned good drive, who do you think is going to be front and center, sleeves rolled up, company truck idling in the parking lot, helping to organize the thing? You guessed it.

Yet if you conducted an informal poll of family or friends about a cool corporate social campaign of any kind, chances are good they’d mention a Fortune 500 effort. “Oh, MegaCorp has this cool new campaign to save Sea Snipes — I saw their Super Bowl commercial.”

And hey, I’m not here to malign those high profile efforts. The world needs them (we power a lot of them).

But it’s also unfair that all these Little Engines That Do aren’t getting the recognition they deserve. Recognition, mind you, that pays dividends for them in the form of new customers, employees, community esteem, etc.

Which is why I urge all SMBs to do a better job of tracking and reporting on their good words.

Yes, of course, I’d love it if they used Good Done Great’s tools to do it. But regardless, please, track your giving, your volunteer hours, and all your efforts toward social good. Then share them — on your website, on your social media pages, in conversations with your customers, families, and friends.

Because if there’s one thing all of us learned waaaayyyy back in elementary school, good attracts good.