People are not convinced that businesses are doing enough for their local areas. But businesses big and small are making a positive contribution by doing what they do best: giving a boost to local economies and people. Many go further, for example giving to charity, training teachers and investing in local suppliers. From the sharing economy to internships in the FTSE 100 – here are five examples of businesses creating prosperity in their local areas:
1. Businesses of all sizes are the driving force behind local economies.
In every region, companies of all shapes and sizes are creating and supporting jobs – putting money in our pockets to save or spend. For example, a single firm like Airbus employs around 10,000 people across two sites in the South West. By sourcing products and services locally too, businesses can support local firms and adapt to reflect what customers in the community want. ASDA stocks more than 6,000 local products across its stores
while Nissan helps support thousands of local jobs through the firms it works with and sources from.
2. Communities are partnering with local businesses to tackle local challenges. Lots of firms are supporting efforts to address local issues – like improving schools and boosting the prospects of young people. Thorntons organised a competition at a local school to design a chocolate product and made sure to give the pupils valuable insight into the way business actually works as well as advice on careers. Eight in ten firms report some kind of link to a local school or college and are investing millions to raise standards across the board.
3. Businesses are enabling local communities to share resources.
Whether it’s sharing a car parking space or renting some power tools – the rise of the ‘sharing economy’ is having a good impact on local communities. Often operating through online platforms these businesses are encouraging communities to use resources more efficiently and letting people earn a few extra quid in the process. With over 25% of UK adults
using these sharing platforms the CBI is highly supportive of this new trend getting even bigger.
4. Local businesses are taking on the world by going digital. Even the smallest business can go international with the use of the internet. Welsh Whisky are a small local business whose premium brand is exported and can be found throughout the world. Online businesses are challenging the largest companies and the CBI is calling for a digital single market across the EU so it’s even simpler for local businesses to grow and reinvest in their products.
5. Businesses regularly re-invest profits in local charities.
While only one in five people thinks that more than half of the UK’s 100 biggest companies give to charity, in reality 98% of these companies reported making a donation last year. Like many firms, Greggs
have committed to investing at least 1% of pre-tax profits and have so far given almost £20 million to support charities and the local communities in which the company operates.