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Denton Record-Chronicle

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DECEMBER 2016

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Enterprising Voices

Small businesses get into spirit of giving iving — to family or to those less fortunate than we are — is something we think a lot about during the holiday season. Often, we have certain causes that we are more likely to give to, that are near and dear to our hearts. Businesses are no different. Years ago it was common to see only larger businesses doing this, but now it’s more common for businesses of all sizes to practice philanthropy. In fact, many small businesses practice corporate philanthropy for purely altruistic reasons, or incorporate these activities into their overall business strategies as part of their social responsibility. Small business owners give to various causes, and the targets of their giving vary widely. Yet, just like larger corporations, they are active philanthropists throughout the year and not just during the holidays. Almost all small businesses practice some kind of philanthropy in their local communities, making this activity a very important one for the communities they serve. The definition of corporate philanthropy, as described by academics Kym Madden, Wendy Scaife and Kathryn Crissman in 2006, is “the voluntary business giving of money, time or in-kind goods, without any direct commercial benefit, to one or more organizations whose core purpose is to benefit the community’s welfare.” Knowing more about the nature and frequency of small-business giving is valuable both to the organizations that support small business, such as chambers of com-

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Margaret YOUNG | COMMENTARY

merce and economic development organizations, and to the communities themselves. This kind of information can be useful to cities as they work to engage all businesses and individuals to improve their communities. In my previous research, I found that the nature of the giving varied among small businesses. Factors such as the demographics of the owner, the nature of the gift and the reasons behind the giving all affect philanthropic activities and the likelihood that a small business will engage in corporate philanthropy. Demographic factors of the business owner impact small business philanthropy. For example, older, more educated small business owners tend to give more for tax incentives, while younger owners are more likely to give because they feel a need to act socially responsible. I also found that the length of business ownership affected the likelihood of giving — the longer a business operated, the more likely it was to engage in philanthropic behaviors. The nature of the giving activity itself also varies from small business to small business. Some owners prefer giving cash. Most cash dona-

DRC file photo

Kenny Kim, left, and Ginna Kim Kaplan of A.J. Donuts accept an award from Rennea Howard for their service to the Salvation Army, on May 3 at Apogee Stadium. Almost all small businesses practice some kind of philanthropy in their community. tions are fairly small, below $2,500 per giving occasion. Sometimes, especially for an owner’s most important causes, a small business can donate amounts up to tens of thousands of dollars. Other business owners we surveyed like to give in-kind gifts, donating their goods to a worthy cause. A small grocery or signage company may want to donate those goods rather than cash. Others prefer to donate their services to a cause or help someone in need in the community. The owner of a small cleaning business may decide to donate his time to clean a house for someone in need. Most small business owners I talked to practice corporate philanthropy because they believe in a specific cause, they

want to be involved in the community or because they want to make a difference. Although business owners can and do give to individuals in their communities, they are more likely to give to specific causes that align with their own business values, such as health, the environment, the arts, education or religion. Small businesses are likely to donate to different causes several times each year, although there does not seem to be any particular time of year when they give. Small businesses are just as inclined as individuals to give during the holiday season, and they practice corporate philanthropy throughout the year. So, the time of year when they give is likely to coincide with the time of year when their causes are

active. This holiday season, it’s good to remember that in addition to being the economic engines of our communities, small businesses are our good neighbors. Even if you don’t hear about it, they are just as likely as you or me to be giving to someone in

need, or to some great cause, right here in Denton! MARGARET YOUNG is the director of Texas Woman’s University’s School of Management and can be reached at myoung13@twu. edu.

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Biz on the Wire Food trend affecting maker of Cheerios MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Profit at General Mills slumped 9 percent during its most recent quarter, and the food company lowered its outlook for the year as it tries to win back customers. Shares fell more than 3 percent Tuesday. Like other big food companies, General Mills has been hurt as more Americans stay away from processed foods. The company has been tinkering with its recipes, adding more protein to Yoplait yogurt and using antibiotic-free chicken in Progresso soups. But yogurt and soup sales still fell in the second quarter. General Mills, which also makes Cheerios cereal and Betty Crocker cake mix, now expects organic net sales to fall between 3 percent and 4 percent for the year. It previously expected organic net sales to be flat or down as much as 2 percent. Organic net sales exclude the impact of currency fluctuations, acquisitions or divestitures. The company said changes to its cereals have helped sales, including adding more cocoa to Cocoa Puffs and more cinnamon to Cinnamon Toast Crunch. It plans to launch Very Berry Cheerios next month, the classic cereal with the addition of real strawberries, blueberries and raspberries. The Minneapolis company reported net income of $481.8 million, or 80 cents per share, in its second quarter. That’s down from $529.5 million, or 87 cents per share, in the same quarter a year ago. Revenue fell 7 percent to $4.11 billion in the period, shy of Wall Street expectations.

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December Denton Business Chronicle 2016  
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