The holidays are a crucial time for many small businesses: marketing plans, inventory management, shipping and staffing might each have specific requirements for the lead up to the end of the year. With so many responsibilities to manage in this time period, it’s easy to see why many businesses overlook one of the most important tenets of our various holiday traditions: that it is better to give than to receive. Charitable giving can form a pillar of your small business’ community outreach.
Charitable giving and community involvement during the holidays is not only a way for your business to establish its place as a valuable contributor to the local social and cultural landscape, but also a sound financial decision. Small businesses are a vanguard for community support in Canada:  one recent study showed that fully three-quarters of small firms make financial donations to charities or other non-profit activities in their communities, and about the same proportion donate goods and services.
Here’s how your business can benefit from some charitable activity this year:

  • Choose a cause that is not only meaningful to you, but aligned with the work that you do every day. Restaurateurs may want to partner with soup kitchens or food banks. Retailers can direct donations to the communities that matter most to their customers. This will help strengthen local ties and create valuable exposure.
  • Consider the valuable effect that making a charitable donation might have on your taxes for the coming year. For more information on what charitable donations a corporation may make and how a corporation may increase the amount of charitable deductions it is allowed to claim on its income tax, see the Canada Revenue Agency’s T4012: T2 Corporation Income Tax Guide.
  • Don’t be shy about publicizing your community involvement efforts. Sharing your efforts publicly will help educate and remind others about the charity or cause you support as well as inspire people to get involved. Tell your local media, customers, and employees, and use your customer newsletter or Web site to get the word out.