With the cost of living crisis affecting many Kiwis, there’s never been a better time for small businesses to help each other out, connect with local communities and get into the ‘onya mate’ spirit.
Building meaningful relationships with those around us is mutually beneficial - we can strengthen brand awareness, establish a positive reputation, and brighten our prospects.
Community spirit is good for business. So here are five things worth considering.
Check under the hood
Get involved with our marquee community initiative, Good in the Hood. The long-running scheme is back for 2022.
Over the years we have given away almost $8 million to thousands of local charities and organisations doing great things in their local neighbourhoods right across Aotearoa.
This October, when fueling up – the car or yourself – at Z, customers who pay in-store are given an orange token to pop into one of four boxes, each for a different local community group.
Good in the Hood splits the money between all participating groups based on the number of votes each receives.
Be a good sport
Partnering with a local sports team as a sponsor is great for business and local rapport.
Not only can you get your business’s name on players’ shirts, which is great marketing, you’re associating your brand with wellness, physical activity and community spirit. Join together on the sidelines and enjoy the camaraderie of your local scene.
Organise a tree-planting day or a beach clean-up for your team. There are hundreds of tree-planting initiatives going on right now across the country. Volunteering in your neighbourhood is a hands-on way to ensure your patch remains healthy and sustainable. And it’s good local PR.
All the small things
The journey to sustainability starts with small steps. Ensure your small business is prioritising the planet by using sustainable products (think packaging, paper and cleaning products), and measuring your environmental impact.
Consider partnering with a Zero Waste initiative to reduce, reuse and recycle. Talk about your efforts, share ideas and make sure your community knows you’re doing your bit.
Show your colours
Encourage your employees to volunteer. By putting time aside for volunteering, you’re not only helping out local causes, but showing your staff that doing good for others is the right thing to do. You can promote specific initiatives or let employees choose the causes they’re passionate about - doing good feels good!
Whether it’s a pop-up festival, a marathon or a fundraiser, every community hosts in-person events of some shape or form, so why not lend your sponsorship? Encourage your employees to help out at the event in branded apparel, make community connections and show you care.
An easy and achievable way to help those less fortunate is to run a charity drive. Ask your employees and even your customers to donate canned goods, blankets, money or other items to be distributed to those in need.
There are always people and small businesses in your local community who do with a helping hand. If a local charity needs an expert in a certain field but can’t afford the expertise, donating your time and skills can pay its own dividends.