Here we are in 2017, and terms like “social responsibility,” “corporate citizenship,” and “B-Corps,”
are becoming more and more common in the everyday vernacular in the world of business.
The definition of corporate social responsibility is an organization’s obligation to consider the interests of their customers, employees, and the communities in which they do business as well as the social and environmental consequences of their business activities. B-Corps are companies that go through a rigorous certification process to incorporate social responsibility into every facet of their business structure. More and more companies are exploring B-Corp status as a way of formally planning the ways that they will give back to their communities and support their employees in ways other than financial compensation.
In an era where we see more and more businesses looking for ways to be good community partners and give back to their customer base, Holly Springs is no stranger to this phenomenon. Facebook and other social media sites abound with announcements and advertisements for fundraisers and awareness events that are either hosted or facilitated by local businesses. In addition to that, there are a few businesses that go the extra mile and incorporate social responsibility into their daily business operations.
Not a day goes by on Facebook that there isn’t a posting about a fundraiser for a family in need, someone who is battling an illness and facing extreme medical costs, or a school group trying to raise operating capital, etc. These fundraisers range from donations of a portion of the receipts to 100% of the sales, or a hybrid of the two. The concept behind these give-back functions is that the organization benefitting from the fundraiser does the bulk of the work to get people to the event, and the restaurant or business just provides a portion of the sales.
Mason Jar Tavern, for example, offers a pancake breakfast fundraiser that provides 100% of the proceeds to the fund-raising organization. Many restaurants offer a percentage of proceeds for an evening event where organizations attract their members out for a meal in support of their cause. Bass Lake Draft House and ACME Pizza both are great places for organizations to plan fundraisers for causes ranging from school clubs to individuals battling significant health issues. My Way Tavern has held charity fundraisers for local cancer patients as well. Zaxby’s, Tijuana Flats, and Chick-Fil-A also offer fund-raising programs that provide cash for a percentage of receipts. Other businesses offer fund-raisers for charities as well. Jessica Throneburg, owner of Little Details, has a Holly Springs location and donates a portion of her Thanksgiving week sales to the Ronald McDonald House of Chapel Hill, where her family lived during her infant son’s six-month NICU stay last year. She also now serves on their board of directors.
An even more popular way that businesses give back to their communities is by donating money, services, or items to organizations that are in need of assistance. Projects can be as simple as Mason Jar’s free meal to veterans on Veterans Day or more significant in terms of time and effort, like food drives and clothing collections. Businesses like Rodney’s Signs, Burn Boot Camp, RockStar Cheer, and Team Joel Sullivan Realty all conduct food drives for the Holly Springs Food Cupboard. Burn Boot Camp and SuperCuts are also among a number of companies that supports Note in the Pocket by sponsoring clothing drives for needy families. Holly Springs School of Dance has raised $11,000 for Meg’s Smile through silent auctions and special events and sponsors a dance program in Costa Rica. The Learning Experience donates a ton of new bikes every winter for kids who don’t have them.
Direct financial donations to organizations are also a great way for businesses to give back to qualified organizations that are near and dear to their hearts. GMA Supply supports the Holly Springs Farmer’s Market every year, and Team Joel Sullivan supports Zach’s Toy Chest, St. Baldrick’s and the Holly Springs High School Fine Arts program. Triangle Construction financially supports animal charities with sponsorships and direct contributions, and East Coast Electrical Services donated funds for an iPad for a disabled child in town. Another great way to support the community financially is to sponsor athletic teams or arts programs, which Holly Springs Chiropractic and Triangle Construction do on a regular basis.
Another popular way for businesses to give back is to offer free products in the form of donations. Burn Boot Camp has offered free memberships to their fitness program to military families and breast cancer survivors. 9Round Fitness also gives memberships to worthy causes as part of their give- back program. The Holly Springs School of Dance provides scholarships to students for advanced study in the summers, and offers a free monthly movement class for children with special needs. Johnny’s Pizza and Pinnacle Automotive are active in raising scholarship monies for the YMCA through their annual campaign.
The more time-consuming give-back option for businesses is
the one that provides the gift of time – time spent volunteering or providing services for no charge. These activities often require the business owner to leave their storefronts or take time out of their regular work day to provide a benefit to individuals or organizations that can’t afford them otherwise.
Triangle Construction provides animal rescue services that require trips to animal shelters or other locations to pick up and drop off animals and supplies, and rehabilitation services to save animals that are on the brink of death. Holly Springs BBQ Company partners with North Carolina Missions of Mercy (NCMOM), which provides large, free dental clinics for needy local residents. They donated, cooked, and served over 3600 plates of food to volunteers and patients at a clinic in Fuquay-Varina last summer!
East Coast Electrical Services has donated electrical work to the Holly Springs Food Cupboard and to a local family who lost their father/husband to a sudden heart attack. The CoWorking Space next to Town Hall requires that all of its client businesses donate at least 1% of their time to local charities, and has collectively offered a variety of give-back activities for its members to participate in since it opened in Holly Springs.
In an event that appealed to all ages, Rodney’s Sign Company donated and installed a Santa’s letter box in front of Town Hall for the holidays. Perhaps one of the more compelling activities of 2017 so far is the purchase of a puppy by the owners of Sludge Coffee Roasters, who are training it to become a working dog for a military veteran. Rosie will be donated to a training program and then matched with a wounded veteran, and the proceeds of Sludge’s Working Dog coffee are going to this project.
In an era where more and more companies are recognizing the significance of being good community partners, Holly Springs businesses are rising to the challenge and proving that we live and work in a community that pulls together to help its residents and support the activities that make it a great place to live and do business. There are many more businesses in town that get involved in the fabric of community life, so the next time you are out and about and see a poster for a fundraiser or see a sign that a business supports a specific nonprofit, thank that business owner or manager for making an impact on the culture of Holly Springs!