How Local Business Owners Can Get Involved in Community Leadership

Others, Business , Leadership

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Written by Brittany Fisher of Financially Well


Local communities need strong leadership in order to thrive. But unlike national politics, local community leaders are rarely career politicians. Rather, communities rely on engaged citizens to step up into leadership roles. As a business owner, you’re especially well-suited for community leadership. Local business owners know what it means to build relationships, motivate teams, and solve problems — the same skills our communities need to overcome the challenges they face.

If you’re ready to make your community a better place to do business, as well as a better place to live, here are four ways you can serve as a community leader.


Exemplify the Traits of Community Leadership

You can’t be a community leader if you don’t possess key attributes like courage and integrity. Before getting involved in community leadership, cultivate these skills in yourself.


Leaders need the courage to tackle local issues head-on. As a business leader, have the courage to speak up, even if it means stepping outside of your comfort zone. This could include stepping up to help out a community in need or doing something like going back to school to pursue an MBA degree, which can inspire others to do the same. Pursuing a degree online allows you the flexibility to take courses on your own schedule, at your own pace, and wherever is most convenient for you, meaning you can continue running your business. You can earn while you learn.


Business owners also need a strong sense of their values before taking on a leadership role. Only when you understand your values can you communicate those values to others and lead with integrity.


Get Involved in Local Politics

While taking a stance on national politics can be a risky move for small businesses, local politics is another story. Getting involved in local government is one of the most impactful ways that anyone can lead their communities. 

Attend town hall and city council meetings

Plug into local issues and advocate for positive change in your community by attending town hall and city council meetings.

Volunteer to register voters

Increasing voter registration is an effort everyone can get behind. Volunteer for existing voter registration drives or host your own.

Join a local campaign

Is there a local politician you’d love to support? Volunteering on a campaign is an excellent networking opportunity for local business owners.


Partner With Local Nonprofits

Partnering with a local charity to donate time, money, and materials does a lot of good for local communities. By focusing their philanthropy on a single organization, business leaders can maximize their impact, although engaging on multiple fronts can help you reach a wide range of people. Consider these the essential tips for nonprofit partnerships:

Look beyond financial contributions

Cash donations are great, but money isn’t all a small business has to offer. Volunteer hours, professional services, and even office space are among the resources your business can offer to a nonprofit partner.

Get everyone involved

Engaging employees in giving back gives your staff a sense of purpose in what they do. According to Harvard Business Review, it can also energize your employees when the company does good. Your team members can work together to help people in your community, or your company might take up in-kind donations to contribute towards a charity auction. And don’t stop there; getting your customers involved is meaningful for your staff, your customers, your community, and it can even improve your bottom line.

Share the experience

There is a time and place for quietly helping your fellow man, but there is also a time and place for letting others know that acts of kindness and generosity are occurring. You’re setting an example, so as a role model, it’s important to share the experience with your followers. This is called “cause marketing” according to LinkedIn. Let clients and colleagues know what you’re doing by posting about it on social media and on your website. 

As a small business owner, you have a lot to bring to your community’s table. And by taking on a local leadership role, your business has a lot to gain, too. From new partnerships to greater recognition, becoming a local leader is a smart move for your business and your community.