Sometimes it takes a pandemic or natural disaster for a community to truly come together. The Nashville and Middle Tennessee area learned this firsthand last year. The year 2020 brought with it devastating tornadoes, the spread of COVID-19 and the accompanying economic slump, and ended with the Christmas Day bombing in the very heart of Music City.
Local businesses often play a big role in recovering from challenges. As a member of the community, your business and employees are uniquely situated to get involved and offer help. Lending a helping hand is not only the right thing to do morally and ethically, but it also further knits your business into the community and helps forge deeper connections to other individuals and businesses.
We’ve outlined four ways to use your brand to plug into your community and offer support.
Call Attention to Milestones
Throughout the pandemic, a lot of milestones that would normally have been celebrated didn’t get much recognition. Acknowledging and celebrating those special occasions can show your awareness and support. Use storefront signage, yard signs, and banners to thank essential workers, to celebrate graduations, acknowledge local events, and to show support for other local achievements or milestones.
Small in-store giveaways (like stickers, mini posters, pens, etc.) are fun ways to spread the celebration and are tangible reminders of your brand and your support.
Sponsor a Local Cause or Event
There are a lot of small businesses and non-profits in your community who need extra support right now. Bolstering these organizations provides them the help they need and also gets your brand in front of potential customers.
Monetary support (in the form of donations to non-profits or purchases from small businesses) is always welcome but in-kind offerings of products and services can also be helpful. Organizing a volunteer day with your employees is another way to help. Remember to keep your brand name front and center, whether with branded t-shirts for your team or with branded signs or giveaways. Doing so will reinforce your involvement in the community and build awareness for your brand.
Share Your Expertise
Demonstrate your value by sharing what you know. Perhaps that means offering small workshops or lunch-n-learn events to share information (you can also do this by Zoom). Consider creating how-to videos to share on your website or social media. Maybe your business can offer your services to community members pro bono or at a discount.
Find the needs in your community that are the best match for the products or services you provide then find ways to help meet those needs.
Partner with Local Businesses
With very few exceptions, most other businesses in your community faced the same challenges you faced in 2020. Partnering with other local businesses provides the opportunity to make a bigger impact in the community. A mutually beneficial partnership, especially between businesses offering complementary services, can provide extra exposure for everyone involved. Co-branding sales materials and signage is a great way to save money and drive customers to each other’s business.
Community Participation is Key for Your Business
As a local business, it’s important to stay involved in your community. Supporting your neighbors through tough times benefits everyone. Your involvement not only helps other businesses and individuals, it also strengthens bonds and demonstrates your investment and support of others in your area. Gaining recognition for your brand is a beneficial by-product of your efforts. Your participation is a boon for everyone.