NASE Monthly E-Newsletter for Small Business Owners | Self Informed July-2022


Your monthly source for the latest news for your micro-business. From operations and marketing to legislative updates from Capitol Hill, SelfInformed has it all!

SelfInformed - July 2022

In this month's issue of SelfInformed, read about the not-so-obvious ways to positively impact your community and improve your business, the 2022 NASE Dependent Scholarship winners and a few must do items before the congressional recess.

The Not-So-Obvious Ways to Positively Impact Your Community and Improve Your Business

For most businesses, the primary focus is on making it profitable. But what if you could impact your community and improve your business simultaneously?

Often, your customers will know who you are and what you do before they ever set foot into your place of business. Word-of-mouth can travel quickly, especially if people know how your business benefits the community. Having connections provides you with a forum to introduce yourself and learn more about the people who make up your community.

You will meet other entrepreneurs, potential partners, investors, and suppliers. You may even gain access to local politicians who can help you navigate the maze of government regulations and laws that impact your business.

And perhaps most importantly, you will be surrounded by other people who genuinely care about their community, wanting it to grow and prosper just as much as you do. Community involvement is a very uplifting experience!

The Importance of Community Involvement for Small Businesses

You have probably heard the saying that there is no “I” in a team, and if you are a small business owner, you know this is especially true. When it comes to running your own business and making it successful, you must rely on other people for help with managing the day-to-day tasks that keep your company up and running.

Your employees may be the most critical group of people when it comes to the success of your business, but an overlooked group that can help you grow your business involves community members. Supporting local community efforts can be a great way to promote your business and show potential customers that you care and want to give back.

When you support non-profits, community events, sports teams, and other important causes, you are helping to build a better community for yourself, your employees, and your customers. A community that is safe, clean, and has plenty to offer is one where everyone wants to live and work.

Sponsor Little Leagues and Local Sports
There is no better way for a small business to cultivate positive public relations than getting involved with the local community. Consider sponsoring local little league teams or high school sports teams for more exposure in your community and an opportunity to teach kids valuable team-building skills for later in life.

Many kids would love to play sports, but cannot afford to. Thus, many little leagues have sponsorship programs where you can sponsor an entire team for as little as $200 per season. By sponsoring a team or two, you can put your business name on the back of their uniforms for all to see.

This type of sponsorship gets your name on their shirts and often includes an introduction of your business at opening day activities. When parents see you have supported their kids, they are much more likely to support your business.

Support Charitable Clubs
These days, consumers are drawn to companies with a sense of purpose and community connection. It is not so much about good deeds, as being responsible and accountable. Because helping others adds value and meaning to our lives, consumers often respond positively by supporting companies that try to help others. Actively improving your community can also help develop better employees and boost team morale.

The Rotary International, Elks Lodges, or the Lions Clubs in your area are some examples of charitable organizations. These clubs usually meet weekly for breakfast or lunch meetings, where you can network with other members and build relationships that can lead to mutual referrals.

If you want to help people in your community and improve your business, then supporting local charities and clubs is something that you should consider doing. It will help those around you and improve your business as well.

You can attend these different groups’ meetings and get involved with them while learning more about the people in your neighborhood. By reaching out, you can find individuals who can become contacts for you and clients who are interested in purchasing your products.

Join the Chamber of Commerce
Chamber memberships are an excellent way for small businesses to continue their community efforts. By joining the chamber, you can meet local leaders, connect with fellow small business owners, and expand your network in a meaningful way.

These connections can pave the way for future partnerships in your community. You can also attend events like workshops, seminars, and conferences, where you learn new skills or find potential hires for your business.

You might not know, but there are probably dozens of online forums dedicated to your town. If there is an active Reddit page for where you live, sign up for an account and participate in conversations about what is going on around town. Commenting on posts about new restaurants or events happening in your city is an easy way to increase brand awareness without doing much work.

Help Local Schools
Local schools are the lifeblood of a community, as is educating children and employing staff members who live in the area. Supporting local schools can allow you to make a real difference in people’s lives in your community and gives you access to advertising opportunities that directly target nearby parents.

You can donate money or products to schools for auctions, raffles, bake sales, and other fundraising events. Also, you can offer discounts on items like school supplies for teachers or students with valid ID cards. Be sure to check individual schools about their policies for supporting student organizations, which can vary from district to district.

Most cities have community colleges where locals can further their education. Community colleges are often underfunded, so they do not have many opportunities to offer students outside of their classes.

Participate in a Community Event
Hosting or participating in an event is also a great way to get involved with your community. You are not just sponsoring an event. Instead, you are also giving back and helping to promote the event in advance, so people know about it when it happens. Ensure you keep in touch with the organizers after the event and let them know what you thought and what you learned from the experience.

For example, a local charity event like a 5K run is the perfect opportunity to get involved. Many communities have annual walks for charities, such as breast cancer awareness or diabetes research. You can sponsor these events by donating or volunteering with other employees. The charity benefits from your support and you get added exposure for your brand.

Doing everything with a sense of purpose and careful planning is critical. You want to ensure you are adding value to your community, not just doing things for the sake of doing them. Be sure to focus on what your business does best and provide it in a way that helps people in the community.

Host a Fundraiser
Many small businesses host fundraisers to benefit local causes or charities. Such events are often low-cost, yet straightforward and impact the community positively. They raise awareness of your business, but they also show the people who attend that you want to give back to your community.

When thinking about how to support your community, consider ways that go beyond writing a check or sponsoring an event. There are many overlooked ways for businesses to support their communities actively, like hosting a fundraiser. Fundraising for a specific cause that is important to your community shows new and existing customers that you care about your town flourishing long-term.

This concept is vital if the cause you raise money for helps improve education or health care in your area, which can directly impact the quality of life for everyone in your community. When it is time for customers to decide where they want to spend their money, they will be more likely to choose you.

Choose a cause that resonates with your company’s values and mission. For example, an auto repair shop could raise money for road improvement projects, or a hardware store could raise money for school gardening projects.

If you own a restaurant or bakery, host an event where people can purchase food or desserts. Similarly, if you own a fitness center, organize an exercise class for charity, with all proceeds going towards the cause. The possibilities are endless!

Final Thoughts
The traditional way to positively impact your community is to donate money, supplies, and volunteer time to the charity of your choice. However, if you want to genuinely be an influential business owner, you need to think about how charitable giving can maximize your company’s exposure and visibility.

There are many ways to use philanthropy as a marketing tactic. By properly aligning yourself with the right charities and organizations, you can profoundly impact your community while also improving your business’ bottom line.

Supporting your community is helpful for the people living in it and the businesses that thrive there, but it is also a savvy way to improve your business’s reputation. Not only will customers appreciate your efforts, but they may be more likely to trust and recommend you as a result.

To learn more about the NASE, visit our website, our professionals can answer any questions you have.

2022 NASE Dependent Scholarship Winners

This year, we awarded $15,000 in scholarships to five fantastic young people. The below individuals were chosen out of the more than 20 applications we received, all of which were very well put together. We know the winners will put their $3,000 to good use this school year and we are proud to assist them on their journey.

Samuel Harris from Houston, Texas will use the scholarship to attend Texas A&M University where he plans to major in Mechanical Engineering.

Brianna Boccassini from Naperville, Illinois will use the scholarship to attend Florida International University where she plans to major in Marine Biology.

Carlee Morales from Garland, Texas will use the scholarship to attend Berklee College of Music where she plans to major in Music Production and Engineering.

Paige Miller from Harrisburg, Pennsylvania will use the scholarship to attend Pennsylvania State University where she plans to major in Archaeological Sciences.

Madison Vander Lind from Kingsport, Tennessee will use the scholarship to attend Clemmer College where she plans to major in Education.

Before the Congressional Recess, a Few Must Do Items

Congress is set to have its “traditional” August District Work period, five weeks of Congress back home in their states and districts, connecting with constituents and seeing first hand important projects, however, before Congress can recess, two important legislative items: finalizing the “United States Innovation and Competition Act of 2021” (also being referred to as the “chips” bill) and laying the ground work for a Democrat reconciliation package that Leader Schumer hopes to advance in September.

For almost a year, Congress has been advancing a version of the “United States Innovation and Competition Act of 2021” a comprehensive attempt to position the United States to compete against China for greater share of the technology manufacturing industry. The bill establishes investments and incentives to support U.S. semiconductor manufacturing, research and development, and supply chain security. Specifically, the bill provides an income tax credit for semiconductor equipment or manufacturing facility investment through 2026. The bill has bi-partisan, bi-cameral support and in fact, is the first legislation in almost 10 years to go through the “conference” process. However, the bill has become an unfortunate victim of politics. And while the Administration and Congress agree that failing to advance this measure has economic and national security implications, currently the bill is facing significant challenges due to the Democrat’s latest efforts to pass reconciliation. It is likely that Congress will strip the “United States Innovation and Competition Act of 2021” down to a very tailored package on semi-conductor manufacturing and investment.

Behind the scenes, it was announced in July that Leader Schumer (D-NY) had been in close contact with Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) on a slimmed down reconciliation that would focus on three things: 1) prescription drug cost, 2) green energy incentives, and 3) a curated package of tax provisions. The news took many by surprise, including the Republican Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) who immediately threatened to block any action on the aforementioned, “United States Innovation and Competition Act of 2021” package. The challenge for Democrats in the Senate is that there are 50/50 odds they maintain their majority and they have not utilized the reconciliation process to advance important priorities for their Caucus. However, reconciliation is a tool used by the majority to circumvent the minority and therefore, the only leverage the Republicans have is to block a widely popular bipartisan initiative in hopes of having Democrats (including the Biden-Harris Administration) pressuring leadership to abandon their plans and pick the “chips” bill over reconciliation.

This all might be for not, as this week, following the latest inflation (consumer price index) numbers (the highest since 1980) caused Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) to back off of his negotiations with Leadership on a Democrat reconciliation package. Without Manchin, it is unlikely the Democrats would be successful in leveraging reconciliation as it requires 51 votes, which is only attained by keeping the Democrats together and the Vice President voting to break the tie.

We will see what happens as Congress weighs the pros and cons of advancing legislation in a divided government.

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