News Feed Item

The greater good gets small business owners thinking big

Ninety percent of SBOs feel there are rewards to social responsibility that transcend financial impacts

MARKHAM, ON, March 31, 2014 /CNW/ - Small business owners (SBOs) are not only actively prioritizing social responsibility but they are incorporating into their ongoing business plan. While SBOs are often perceived to be time-poor and lacking the resources or mindshare to fully invest in anything outside their day-to-day operations, they actually tend to be community-driven by nature.

The quarterly American Express Small Business Monitor reveals an overwhelming 92 per cent of SBOs feel a sense of responsibility to give back to their community. More than a sense of accountability, many consider it a unique privilege to contribute to the community, with 86 per cent of SBOs admitting it is one of the rewards of being a small business owner. In fact, 87 per cent admit that even if they don't see financial gain, it is worth it for them to help create a healthy, thriving community.

"It appears that a large percentage of business owners are as passionate about being a part of a community as they are about their business," said Athena Varmazis, VP and General Manager of Small Business Services, American Express Canada. "It's impressive and inspiring to see SBOs take a stand and prioritize community in an effort to become more socially responsible."

Social responsibility helps drive customer loyalty

Social responsibility appears to have become increasingly top of mind for Canadian consumers and business owners have taken notice. Over one third (34%) of small business owners report that being socially responsible helps attract and retain a loyal client base. Perhaps more importantly, 69 per cent of small business owners say one of the benefits of social responsibility is that it creates repeat customers.

"Business owners are moved by their customers' passion and use this to fuel community involvement," says Varmazis. "In fact, positive client feedback is their top factor for measuring the success of integrating social responsibility into their business."

SBOs see social responsibility as a long term investment

As small business owners continue to build and evolve their social responsibility strategies, they are identifying new opportunities that arise as a result of their desire to give back.  While focusing on customers is key, they see their social involvement as a win-win for their business from a growth perspective as well as an employee retention tool.

The Monitor shows that one-fifth (20%) of SBOs have experienced growth in their business over the last five years as a result of being socially responsible, and the majority (65%) say it's a result of their involvement with their local communities. Over three-quarters, (77%) of SBOs confirm that being socially responsible attracts like-minded employees.

SBOs continue to have a positive business outlook

Building off of last year's increased optimism in their business outlook, SBOs continue to experience a higher optimism level compared to this time last year.  The increased willingness to take risks also demonstrates a sense of stability from business owners.

Almost half (45%) of SBOs report their business' current financial position has improved, a solid six point increase since May 2013 (39%). More than half (58%) of SBOs remain hopeful about their future financial position, and more than one-fifth (23%) of SBOs are willing to take above average or significant risks for their business in the next six months.

"For the first part of 2014, optimism levels have changed little leaving SBOs with a refreshed and positive attitude towards the outlook of their business," says Varmazis. "Business owners are confident as they plan for the year ahead and are excited for the future."

About the American Express Small Business Monitor
From Between February 11 and February 27 - Rogers Custom Research and Media Insights group conducted an online survey on behalf of American Express Small Business Services with a sample of 530 Canadian small business owners each employing between 2 and 100 people. The margin of error for the total sample is +/- 4.2 19 times out of 20. In order to ensure the results are representative of the entire population of small business owners in Canada, the data have been statistically weighted for small business by region according to Statistics Canada. Respondents were located across Canada and came from a variety of industries, including health, social services, education, tech, sales and skilled trades. Due to rounding, some results may add to over 100 per cent.

About American Express Small Business Services
American Express Small Business Services (SBS) is dedicated exclusively to the success of small business owners and their companies. SBS supports business owners with exceptional service. We offer tailored products and services that deliver purchasing power, flexibility, cash flow management and rewards to help customers run their business. Specifically, business owners can leverage an enhanced set of products, tools, services and savings, including charge and credit cards, robust online account management capabilities and savings on business services from an expanded line-up of partners. To obtain more information about SBS, visit www.amexforbusiness.ca or www.facebook.com/AmefforBusiness.

SOURCE American Express

More Stories By PR Newswire

Copyright © 2007 PR Newswire. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PRNewswire content is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of PRNewswire. PRNewswire shall not be liable for any errors or delays in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon.

Latest Stories
SYS-CON Events announced today that Enzu will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Enzu’s mission is to be the leading provider of enterprise cloud solutions worldwide. Enzu enables online businesses to use its IT infrastructure to their competitive advantage. By offering a suite of proven hosting and management services, Enzu wants companies to focus on the core of their online busine...
In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Nick Son, Vice President of Cyber Risk & Public Sector at Coalfire, will discuss the latest information on the FedRAMP Program. Topics will cover: FedRAMP Readiness Assessment Report (RAR). This new process is designed to streamline and accelerate the FedRAMP process from the traditional timeline by initially focusing on technical capability instead of documentation preparedness. FedRAMP for High-impact level systems. Early in 2016 FedRAMP officially publishe...
Join IBM November 2 at 19th Cloud Expo at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, and learn how to go beyond multi-speed it to bring agility to traditional enterprise applications. Technology innovation is the driving force behind modern business and enterprises must respond by increasing the speed and efficiency of software delivery. The challenge is that existing enterprise applications are expensive to develop and difficult to modernize. This often results in what Gartner calls...
WebRTC sits at the intersection between VoIP and the Web. As such, it poses some interesting challenges for those developing services on top of it, but also for those who need to test and monitor these services. In his session at WebRTC Summit, Tsahi Levent-Levi, co-founder of testRTC, reviewed the various challenges posed by WebRTC when it comes to testing and monitoring and on ways to overcome them.
The explosion of new web/cloud/IoT-based applications and the data they generate are transforming our world right before our eyes. In this rush to adopt these new technologies, organizations are often ignoring fundamental questions concerning who owns the data and failing to ask for permission to conduct invasive surveillance of their customers. Organizations that are not transparent about how their systems gather data telemetry without offering shared data ownership risk product rejection, regu...
Bert Loomis was a visionary. This general session will highlight how Bert Loomis and people like him inspire us to build great things with small inventions. In their general session at 19th Cloud Expo, Harold Hannon, Architect at IBM Bluemix, and Michael O'Neill, Strategic Business Development at Nvidia, will discuss the accelerating pace of AI development and how IBM Cloud and NVIDIA are partnering to bring AI capabilities to "every day," on-demand. They will also review two "free infrastruct...
Qosmos, the market leader for IP traffic classification and network intelligence technology, has announced that it will launch the Launch L7 Viewer at CloudExpo | @ThingsExpo Silicon Valley, being held November 1 – 3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. The L7 Viewer is a traffic analysis tool that provides complete visibility of all network traffic that crosses a virtualized infrastructure, up to Layer 7. It facilitates and accelerates common IT tasks such as VM migra...
WebRTC defines no default signaling protocol, causing fragmentation between WebRTC silos. SIP and XMPP provide possibilities, but come with considerable complexity and are not designed for use in a web environment. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Matthew Hodgson, technical co-founder of the Matrix.org, discussed how Matrix is a new non-profit Open Source Project that defines both a new HTTP-based standard for VoIP & IM signaling and provides reference implementations.
Rapid innovation, changing business landscapes, and new IT demands force businesses to make changes quickly. In the eyes of many, containers are at the brink of becoming a pervasive technology in enterprise IT to accelerate application delivery. In this presentation, you'll learn about the: The transformation of IT to a DevOps, microservices, and container-based architecture What are containers and how DevOps practices can operate in a container-based environment A demonstration of how Docke...
The Internet of Things (IoT) promises to simplify and streamline our lives by automating routine tasks that distract us from our goals. This promise is based on the ubiquitous deployment of smart, connected devices that link everything from industrial control systems to automobiles to refrigerators. Unfortunately, comparatively few of the devices currently deployed have been developed with an eye toward security, and as the DDoS attacks of late October 2016 have demonstrated, this oversight can ...
Smart Cities are here to stay, but for their promise to be delivered, the data they produce must not be put in new siloes. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Mathias Herberts, Co-founder and CTO of Cityzen Data, will deep dive into best practices that will ensure a successful smart city journey.
President Obama recently announced the launch of a new national awareness campaign to "encourage more Americans to move beyond passwords – adding an extra layer of security like a fingerprint or codes sent to your cellphone." The shift from single passwords to multi-factor authentication couldn’t be timelier or more strategic. This session will focus on why passwords alone are no longer effective, and why the time to act is now. In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Chris Webber, security strateg...
November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Penta Security is a leading vendor for data security solutions, including its encryption solution, D’Amo. By using FPE technology, D’Amo allows for the implementation of encryption technology to sensitive data fields without modification to schema in the database environment. With businesses having their data become increasingly more complicated in their mission-critical applications (such as ERP, CRM, HRM), continued ...
In the 21st century, security on the Internet has become one of the most important issues. We hear more and more about cyber-attacks on the websites of large corporations, banks and even small businesses. When online we’re concerned not only for our own safety but also our privacy. We have to know that hackers usually start their preparation by investigating the private information of admins – the habits, interests, visited websites and so on. On the other hand, our own security is in danger bec...
Two weeks ago (November 3-5), I attended the Cloud Expo Silicon Valley as a speaker, where I presented on the security and privacy due diligence requirements for cloud solutions. Cloud security is a topical issue for every CIO, CISO, and technology buyer. Decision-makers are always looking for insights on how to mitigate the security risks of implementing and using cloud solutions. Based on the presentation topics covered at the conference, as well as the general discussions heard between sessi...