SMALL firms are being encouraged to publicise the work they do to help their local communities.
The Trading for Good scheme has been set up by the Forum of Private Business (FPB) so that small businesses can share with their customers information about their charity, community and environmental action schemes to help young people into work, how they improve supplier relations and their work to benefit their staff.
The FPB is helping businesses to set up profile pages where they can publish the information.
It comes as the organisation’s latest research into small business attitudes revealed that 52% said they donate to charities, 46% support charitable events, 46% support other small, local firms where possible and 40% take on work experience placements from local schools and colleges.
Of those that did not involve themselves locally, 56% blamed the need to focus all their resources on keeping their business afloat, followed by time spent dealing with red tape and efforts to keep employees focused on work.
FPB senior policy adviser Alex Jackman said: “While encouraging more SMEs to export is important, small businesses are an integral part of their local communities and need help to trade locally, regionally and nationally, as well as internationally.
“From supporting their local workforce to working closely with suppliers, business owners want to get involved in the ‘big society’ and many already are – certainly most take their CSR duties very seriously.
“However, our research shows that they simply have to devote all of their time to running their businesses, which usually means an uphill struggle against a myriad of issues including mounting red tape, taxation and late payment.
“Instead, we need a commercial environment that facilitates a culture of entrepreneurship and enables more entrepreneurs to become active in their communities.”