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The American Express Small Business Monitor surveyed more than 500 businesses with less than 100 employees and found that 92% felt it is their duty to contribute to their communities.

Beyond feeling it was their duty, 77% of those surveyed said being socially responsible contributed to attracting better employees, and 63% said their contributions to their communities created financial rewards and improved their bottom lines.

The report concluded that, “The more involved in the community a firm is, the more its efforts boost its image and lead customers to respond with increased support and loyalty.”

Locally-owned businesses under competitive pressures from global online competitors and national chain stores have a distinct advantage in their ability to differentiate themselves by contributing to their communities.

But your return on investment in your local community cannot pay dividends if your contributions are a secret. As the old proverb says, “No one, after lighting a lamp puts it in the cellar or under a basket, but on a stand for all to see.”

Click here for me to deliver 12 Ways to Contribute to Your Bottom Line, to improve your return on investments in your community.