How Businesses Can Be Purposeful in Helping Communities Recover From COVID-19
At the start of the pandemic, millions of individuals lost their jobs. The economy suffered from the shutdown, and many businesses closed their doors for good. As vaccines roll out and the world reopens, companies that sustained the pandemic can provide charity to individuals who suffered.
Fortunately, U.S. COVID-19 case numbers are continuously dropping. With society’s health and well-being rebounding, we can refocus our efforts on helping communities recover financially. Businesses must re-establish a purpose, finding alignment with the needs of the country.
Companies that made it through the pandemic without adverse financial effects can utilize their fortune for good. They can re-establish their purpose as a community-based business. Instead of sponsoring luncheons catered by corporate food chains, for example, your company can hire a local supplier.
Over 17% of restaurants closed because of COVID-19. You can put your funds back into your community by supporting struggling restaurants and small businesses.
Small, family-owned companies generate over 50% of the GDP and employ 63% of the U.S. workforce. You can help these businesses financially recover from the pandemic by sourcing your company’s materials from them.
If your company outsourced paper, containers, labels, or other materials, now is an optimal time to localize your purchases. Rather than turning to foreign producers, you can find your necessary business materials from small companies around your area.
Adopting sustainable business practices is another way to support your community’s recovery. You can develop corporate social responsibility (CSR), integrating social and ecological support into your company values. The planet began to heal through the pandemic without cars, buses, and planes polluting the atmosphere with greenhouse gases.
Businesses can establish eco-friendly procedures, ensuring the continued conservation of the planet following COVID-19. CSR focuses on three essential aspects – people, profit, and planet. Practicing sustainability in your industry can set a high standard for others to follow.
You can use excess funding to invest in renewable energy systems. Large companies like Microsoft pledged to become carbon-negative by 2030 using solar power and other sustainable strategies. Companies everywhere can limit their greenhouse gas emissions and improve their community’s air quality by installing renewable energy devices.
Your business can also donate to environmental charities, reduce waste, and hold a community clean-up day, bettering the local ecology.
The pandemic increased global stress, anxiety, and depression levels. Your business can help individuals recover from mental health struggles as the world returns to normal.
You can fund community meditation and yoga classes, grounding individuals and recreating a sense of social support. These activities reduce emotional distress and enhance your mood. Companies can also hold community events to reduce isolation.
In the office, businesses can hire an on-call mental health professional for employees to utilize. Returning to work after isolation can be challenging. It can bring up uncomfortable emotions and situations that one may need time and space to process.
Whether or not you contracted COVID-19, you may have suffered a health decline from the confined lockdown lifestyle. There are various ways businesses can redefine their post-COVID-19 purpose to support a community’s physical recovery.
Biking is beneficial for human and environmental health. With greater accessibility of bike paths, a community can limit its transportation-derived greenhouse gas emissions. About 30% of air pollution comes from the transportation sector. Cycling provides a non-emission alternative transportation method. Companies can support environmental conservation and physical recovery after the pandemic by funding a bike path’s development.
Companies can also sponsor a post-COVID-19 5K run. Running prevents cardiovascular disease-related death and promotes lung health. The 5K can help the community get back in shape, and the entrance fee can support medical relief funds.
Finding Your Purpose
Before investing in one recovery aspect within your community, it’s helpful to evaluate local needs. Reach out to residents in your area and ask them how your business can serve their recovery. You can also hold a local forum, gaining productive feedback on post-COVID-19 needs.
Author Bio: Jane works as the founder and editor-in-chief of Environment.co where she covers environmental news and sustainable living tips.