Dunedin and Invercargill small and medium-sized
enterprises are showing outstanding community support, BNZ
retail director Andy Symons says.
The nationwide BNZ Spotlight on SME Community Support survey
covered 508 companies nationally and looked closely at the
many ways New Zealand SMEs were active in their community.
''SME operators and managers are closely connected to their
communities and play a major role in supporting charities and
other groups in their local area.''
Mr Symons told the Otago Daily Times the high level of
commitment to the community by the small and medium business
community came as no surprise. However, some of the community
work went unrecognised.
Considering the significant contribution SMEs made to the
economy as employers and innovators, it was heartening to see
they were still helping others, even in a tough business
Three-quarters of survey respondents agreed all businesses,
regardless of size, had a role to play in supporting local
Nearly 75% of Dunedin and Invercargill businesses supported
local community groups or charities, the highest in the
survey, he said.
A further 6% had previously and another 11% would consider
doing so in the future. A small minority ruled out any form
of support now or in the future.
Educational causes, such as schools and play groups, and
sports teams or clubs were the most common forms of ventures
supported. They were followed by cultural events, children's
groups and activities such as scouts and brownies and
Health charities, fire brigades and ambulance services, the
Coast Guard, Rotary clubs, Riding for the Disabled, and a
local community association were among the organisations
listed in the ''other'' category.
Financial support was the most common type provided by
Dunedin and Invercargill companies and the region also had
the highest rate of donated goods and services to children's
causes, Mr Symons said.
''There are many ways that businesses can help community
groups. The support doesn't have to be monetary. It could be
expertise or some other form of assistance. If monetary
support is out of the question, consider other ways to get
Business owners believed community giving was the right thing
to do. Many recognised the need in their communities and the
difference support could make, he said.
''They're telling us that it feels good to give back to the
causes they believe in.''
Asked if the strong spirit of community was because of the
number of SMEs in the region, Mr Symons said although the
Auckland CBD was full of ''big brands'', he did not have to
go too far outside that area to see a range of ''fantastic
small businesses''creating employment.
Mr Symons urged people to support SMEs in their community to
help them increase profit and continue supporting employment
and community groups within those communities.
He also urged SMEs to do more in publicising their support.
Sharing their passion and support for their chosen charity or
community group in the right way could not only benefit the
business but might also lead to more donations for the cause.
Dunedin and Invercargill SMEs
• Strong sense of responsibility to the community.
• More likely to support community groups.
• More likely to provide ongoing support for educational
• More than half of causes receive $1000 or less.
• Strong moral code.