If you’ve ever sponsored the fall festival at your child’s school or served on the board of a local non-profit, you know the impact one person or business can have on the community. It doesn’t take a massive foundation arm or a huge team to make a difference.

Small business leaders are uniquely positioned to make an impact because of their close ties with the community. This influence operates at various levels, from micro-interactions with fellow businesses to macro-integration within the broader community.

Whether you’re a consultant, a service-based business or a brick-and-mortar location, you’re interacting with others daily. As a small business owner, you might be a member of a business association. You might sponsor events or conduct charitable giving through your business. Maybe you participate in volunteer organizations, serve on boards or offer pro bono services.

These community-focused events and philanthropy opportunities are where positive impact meets business networking. Yes, networking. This approach to networking not only sparks engagement, conversation, and relationship-building but also enhances community involvement on a broader scale. It's a win-win for small businesses that want to deepen their connections, reputation and awareness, as well as for the communities that can benefit from their time, money and talent.

Whether it's through sponsorship or pro bono work, there’s a match for every type of small business owner to raise their profile while making a difference. Here are four ways:

  1. Sponsorships And Charitable Giving
  2. Pro Bono Work
  3. Nonprofit Board Service
  4. Charitable Organization Membership

Read the full article about the impact of small businesses by Stephanie Schwartz at Forbes.