Martin Cohn: Six reasons to give this season

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If you run a business, you undoubtedly feel many pressures on your time and money. Why would you want to add "giving to the community" to your "to do" list? Here are six reasons.

1. It feels good. Making contributions to the community is personally rewarding. Our values are important to us — from helping kids to supporting neighborhood cleanup efforts. Charitable contributions enable us to support these values.

2. It's a tradition. Local businesses traditionally have been principal supporters of many community organizations that do good work. Without the support of the local business community, many programs that serve Vermont's most needy residents would

not exist.

3. It builds company morale. Contributing to organizations that are important to employees enables Vermont business owners to promote a more positive work environment and build shared pride in the company's role in the community. Providing opportunities for employees to contribute, whether financially or volunteering time, improves morale and helps reduce turnover.

4. It's good for business. Support for local causes is a good way for a business to develop a positive image, reinforce relationships with customers, and develop closer relationships with community leaders and officials.

5. It's a sign of leadership. Great business leaders are also leaders in the community. A business owner who stands up for a cause can inspire others to get involved and can create confident optimism.

6. It's good for the community. Studies show that vibrant, healthy communities have a strong network of charitable and educational organizations. These are supported by the volunteer time and financial contributions of private citizens and businesses. Private involvement in the larger community can affect every aspect of a community's vitality, including its economy.

Martin Cohn is president of Cohn Public Relations, a Brattleboro-based full-service public relations firm. Martin and his 40-plus years of public relations experience can be reached by e-mail at martin@cohnpr.com. The opinions expressed by columnists do not necessarily reflect the views of the Brattleboro Reformer.

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