Doing Good is Good Business

Small acts make big differences.

They have an outward rippling effect the same way a tiny pebble does when tossed into an area of still and silent water. It expands in all directions and reaches well beyond its small and seemingly insignificant point of impact.

The easiest way to think about this is, unfortunately, in the negative. We’ve all had those days where one ugly comment hurled in our direction affects the rest of the day. It drags us down. We dwell on it and repeatedly hit replay on the incident over and over in our head.

The negative is memorable because we tend to carry it with us like awkward and cumbersome baggage that we can’t put down. It becomes a black stain in our mental ledger that too often will metastasize into an immoveable grudge.

In business, it’s been well-documented how one bad review can create those waves of doubt and uncertainty in a potential customer base. Yet, it’s not all doom and gloom; the good news is positive experiences produce similar results — and business owners have many more avenues to spread those happy ripples across the pond than they do the poor ones.

Perhaps the widest avenue for spreading good will is the one that runs outside the storefront. It’s that eight-lane luxurious superhighway known as community altruism, where small acts of kindness can reap big rewards in reputation.

Giving back is an important cornerstone for any organization looking to cement a relationship in the community where it does business. It’s said you have to spend money to make money and providing support to local causes and organization gives your business purpose as well as helps raise your profile and, ultimately, boosts your bottom line.

Build Your Brand

Having your business name attached to worthwhile causes and events bonds your brand to things local residents care about and puts your brand top of mind. The result is positive public relations and name recognition.

As noted in Forbes, “People tend to refer business to people they trust and believe will take good care of their family and friends. By giving, you are letting the world know that you care and that you are sharing your wealth and blessings with others. This is crucial to growth and success.”

Networking Opportunities

One of the most powerful tools a business owner wields are the contacts they make. Common ground is fertile soil to grow connections, and what better way to find like-minded people than at a cause or event you already support?

“Networking allows you access to opportunities you might not be able to find on your own. Your network has the potential to provide you with insight into different fields, information on what potential employers look for and advice on how you can improve professionally,” according to an article from

Increase Employee Engagement

Offering options for your employees to give back to the causes they care about in the communities where they live increases engagement among your workforce. It also contributes to team building and unity among staff members. Younger generations place a high premium on companies that give back and are dedicated warriors in the arena of philanthropy. This can help employee retention as well as make you more appealing to top-tier candidates. 

All the above reasons help get your name out in front of the eyes of the public. However, there is another reason for community giving that often goes unstated and may be even more valuable: It’s the right thing to do.

You chose to do business in a particular community. Because of that, you should have a personal stake in seeing your community succeed and becoming a better, friendlier and more thoughtful place to live and work. A lot of times, giving back doesn’t even have to take a lot of thought and planning; it can be almost reflexive.

At SaveOn, for example, our collaboration with the Michigan Renaissance Festival in our Detroit market provided us with an abundance of complimentary festival tickets. It was a no-brainer to take those tickets, bundle them up and send them out to local first responders and front-line workers who have been working diligently to protect the community for more than a year. We didn’t have to think about it, and it didn’t cost a thing. It was just good will to good people.

And that may be the most significant point of giving back. You need to invest in the community if you want them to invest in you. It’s a foundation where not only relationships are established and built, but it also serves as an inspiration for others through leading by example and creating a more caring world.

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Generosity Shines on Giving Tuesday

There’s good reason that it’s not known as “The Season of Getting.”

From the smaller stage of helping workaday employees make their everyday ends meet to the broader perspective of keeping the nation’s economy on track at a steady hum, consumerism indeed has its undeniable values and virtues. However, even the most squinted and pessimistic eye can’t deny that the holiday season encompasses a softer and more global approach to giving of ourselves for the purpose of offering a hand to our friends and neighbors who are struggling and in a time of need.

That’s why in the height of the holiday shopping hysteria, Giving Tuesday plays a vital role in reminding us that the threads of kindness and compassion bind us all together in this complex tapestry of humanity. It’s also why businesses large and small play essential parts in the ensemble cast of making Giving Tuesday a success each year.

Since 2012, Giving Tuesday has encouraged people to engage in acts of good on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving through its mission of building a more just and generous world.  

“Giving Tuesday strives to build a world in which the catalytic power of generosity is at the heart of the society we build together, unlocking dignity, opportunity and equity around the globe,” according to the organization’s website. “We believe that generosity leads to greater civic participation and other pro-social behaviors. … Whether it’s making someone smile, helping a neighbor or stranger out, showing up for an issue or people we care about, or giving some of what we have to those who need our help, every act of generosity counts and everyone has something to give.”

At SaveOn, we’re proud that so many in our extended family of businesses choose to take part in the spirit of Giving Tuesday during the holidays, as well as throughout the year. These businesses serve as shining examples of compassionate commitment in the regions they serve as they strive to do their part to make their community’s better places to live, work and play.

With so many feeling isolated and alone this year due to the coronavirus pandemic, The UPS Store in Lake Orion, Michigan, is using its care package services to help families and loved ones stay connected while following social distancing guidelines.

As a designated essential business, The UPS Store has remained open during the pandemic. Care packaging is just one way the brand is helping customers get through this time as a resource of hope and outreach.

“Many of our customers are missing their families and friends, so sending a care package is a great way to be there for one another from a distance,” said franchise owner Neil Patel. “Our packing experts are trained in advanced packing techniques and can pack just about anything. We know how important it is for your package to arrive intact to help bring a little good cheer.”

Another proud member of the SaveOn family, MSP Plumbing, Heating and Air in St. Paul, Minnesota, has been committed to the comfort of its customers for more than a century. MSP takes great pride in being an active member of its community by supporting local charities and causes.

“We know that 2020 has been a tough year for all, and we believe everyone could use a little extra comfort. MSP would like to take the holiday season to show our commitment to our community by supporting people in need,” MSP said in a statement. “We are asking for your help by sharing instances of individuals, families or groups who may have had a rough year and could use a little extra happiness this holiday season.”

MSP is asking people to visit and nominate an individual or family that has had an especially challenging year and could use a little help. The MSP team selects a winner each week to be awarded and celebrated on the company’s website. 

Ann Arbor, Michigan, favorite Wags to Wiskers Pet Supplies spreads its Giving Tuesday sentiment throughout the entire year to our four-legged friends by accepting year-round donations for local pet rescues and charities.

“Our community is our family and our priority at Wags to Wiskers Pet Supplies,” said owner and founder Dan Gilmore. “You can feel it in the way we treat our customers, both new and returning. You see it in the way we partner with local businesses and organizations. We are most grateful for all the support and consistency in our businesses during this most tumultuous year. We miss seeing everyone all the time, but we know things will be better soon, and we plan to be right here.”

These businesses, and many more just like them, reflect the importance SaveOn places on taking an active role in the community and giving back to the people and the causes that help define a region’s purpose. There are no small acts of giving. Consider supporting the local businesses that support you this Giving Tuesday.