Earning a profit is always the primary goal of any business, but that doesn’t mean your business can’t provide real and meaningful benefits to the community it serves. In some sense, all businesses benefit their communities through tax revenues, necessary services, and job growth, but some companies go beyond the basics. Here are three business ventures that benefit their communities.
On the surface, the restaurant business may not seem to be a community benefit venture, but there are numerous ways a restaurant can boost the surrounding community. For starters, restaurants often become community gathering places. Providing an affordable place for people to gather and enjoy themselves is a simple but essential benefit.
Beyond that, many restaurants also participate in programs that feed the hungry. Whether it’s a free meal or donating excess food to soup kitchens and shelters, a quality hot meal goes a long way for someone in need. Restaurants can also participate in community beautification by decorating the space outside. Not only does this provide a valuable addition to the dining space, but it also makes the streets livelier, cleaner, and safer.
2: Rental Housing
In cities with fast-growing high-end job markets, affordable housing is often in short supply. Building or renovating housing units that are affordable to working-class and lower-income tenants is both profitable and a great benefit for any community. Managing rentals is often tough, especially in places with rigorous zoning and permitting processes, but there are some ways to make the process easier and faster.
For one, many cities are beginning to recognize the need for affordable housing and are streamlining the process. There are also ancillary businesses that offer services to make building and operating affordable housing easier, like Austin property management companies and those in other cities. In many states, there are also grant and loan programs to help defray the initial costs of creating affordable housing for families.
3: Health and Wellness
Whether you’re selling healthy smoothies, vitamin supplements, teaching yoga classes or running a zero waste lifestyle store, health and wellness businesses are a great way to earn an income and help people. In addition to the generally healthy benefits these businesses offer their customers, there are other great ways to take this niche business to the next level.
Working with local community groups and corporate partners to create wellness plans for their members and employees is a great way to bring health and wellness to the community. Offering group discounts and educational programming allows you to add more profitable services to your portfolio and reach parts of the community who may never engage otherwise. In the hustle culture of today, every community needs a little extra health and wellness to get through the day.
As with any business, your primary goal is always to turn a profit. Making money and providing a meaningful community benefit, however, are not mutually exclusive. Business owners are the bedrock of any community. Even if your business isn’t on this list, always consider how you and your business can step in and give back to the community. Also, if it’s just run of the mill philanthropic giving, the publicity and overall benefit for others are well worth the time and money. Ultimately, kindness to others is always its reward.