How Entrepreneurs Can Contribute To Their Communities

Finding ways to give back to your community is important if you live and work in an urban environment. There are several ways to contribute to your community.

Some are cost-free and some have cost implications. Some are easy and some are hard. But if you do choose to engage in giving back to your community, here are some tips you should keep in mind.

Serve on a community board or charitable trust

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Attend meetings, or offer to help in many areas of your community such as providing computer training for schoolchildren, providing supplies for the food pantry or acting as an advocate for victims of domestic violence.

If you live in a rural area, some community service opportunities include running a bookmobile, supporting a senior center, or being part of a food bank.

You can also make charitable donations to your local libraries, museums, food banks, and other worthy causes. Some businesses also offer a foundation to give back to the community.

The non-profit, Mountain BizWorks Foundation, is a good example. Mountain BizWorks was founded in 2007 to strengthen the regional economy by supporting high-growth companies and entrepreneurs in the Southeastern U.S.

While Mountain BizWorks provides assistance for individuals and small businesses, there are also educational, networking and professional development opportunities.

Try to volunteer in the evening

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This is often a time when your neighbors are most likely to be home and available to help others. This approach allows you to help people without getting in your car and driving there.

Plus, it allows you to avoid going into the office and having to get to an early morning meeting.

Cost-benefit estimations

Have you ever given a charitable donation and thought, "Now I'm responsible for keeping track of this amount over the next ten years?"

One way to mitigate this concern is to set aside funds to pay for financial management to handle these expenses.

For example, The Marcus & Millichap Foundation Inc. offers a financial planning service that enables small businesses to take advantage of this free service to ensure tax deductions and other financial benefits.

The program is open to those who have an annual net income of $500,000 or less. Contact Mark Leier at (503) 302-1823 to see if the program is available in your area.

You can also take advantage of an online program that will allow you to make the charitable donation and manage the financial results. It's called Credit360, and it enables you to enter all of your financial information in a secure, privacy-protected way and generate a monthly report to present to your accountant.

It makes it easy to keep track of your charitable donations, as well as tax deductions.

Businesses can also benefit from hiring a professional to manage their charitable donations for them. The charities that find this approach very beneficial include the American Cancer Society and the United Way.

Getting Ready to Give Back

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Giving back to the community is not always easy.

The last thing any entrepreneur wants is to become a burden to the community. But by doing this, you'll be benefiting not only your community, but also your business.

Below are three of the most popular ways for entrepreneurs to contribute to their communities:

1. Product Innovation

Most people are aware of the growth and development of the food and beverage industry in the United States and globally, which is good news because it means there are more jobs available.

However, what many people may not realize is that the fast-paced changes within the food and beverage industry can affect local communities.

Although manufacturing and distribution centers have long been in place, with online shopping and advancements in technology, people are increasingly shopping at supermarkets for their food needs.

In Santa Barbara, both Ventura and Santa Maria are experiencing a rise in the number of supermarkets. In this modern retail landscape, food manufacturers have to be ready to innovate to remain competitive.

One of the fastest growing markets is with fresh food products. This trend is driven by the increase in health and wellness needs, which are reflected in the ingredients used in foods today, like organic fruits, vegetables, healthy fats, proteins and more.

At Peloton, we feel that innovative fresh food companies, like us, have a key role in furthering local innovation and providing healthier alternatives to consumers.

We believe that supporting local entrepreneurs who are creating innovative food and beverage products that meet the needs of consumers is key to contributing to the innovation of our food system.

In addition to promoting local entrepreneurs, Peloton is proud to support the Santa Barbara Entrepreneur Center, which was created by the Santa Barbara Entrepreneur Center and founded by Pat Purnell in 2014 to provide start-up resources, assistance and connections for entrepreneurs and fledgling businesses.

Peloton believes in supporting the development of new businesses in the county and is currently raising money for its annual Peloton Foods Film Festival, a charitable initiative that funds food entrepreneurs who would not have access to basic startup capital. Last year, Peloton Foods donated more than $30,000 to local food companies.

2. Volunteering

According to the Corporation for National and Community Service, volunteering in the United States is one of the highest ways for Americans to give back to their community.

80 percent of Americans think volunteering is an important way to give back to their community.

The majority of Americans who volunteer (59 percent) say that volunteerism is the greatest impact they have had on the world, but many people are unaware of how to contribute or what opportunities are available to them.

Peloton believes that, by encouraging people to become involved with local charities and foundations, we can contribute to their success, give back to our community and impact our lives in a positive way.

In fact, there are many volunteer opportunities available in our community, and these projects can last from a few hours to an entire day.

These projects help to develop skills, knowledge and experience that can help to improve the lives of the individuals and families that these charities are designed to support.

3. Health & Wellness

This year, Peloton is dedicated to highlighting the health and wellness benefits of its products.

We are a leading brand for cycling equipment and have a diverse product line, including cycling bikes, indoor and outdoor workout equipment, apparel and accessories.

As part of our mission to promote health and wellness, we recently partnered with Ocean Spray, a leader in cranberry and other healthy fruit drinks, and released an exclusive cranberry-themed indoor cycling cycling shoe, the Ocean Spray Cycling Shoe, made in partnership with Ecco, the world leader in performance footwear.

The Peloton bike was built with a combination of consumer feedback, product design and cycling-specific engineering. The bike’s proprietary software connects the bike to the Peloton app, and riders can sync their phones with the system to keep track of their performance and goals, including the number of calories burned and the duration of the ride.

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