August 24, 2021

The Importance of Giving Back to the Communities You Operate In

The Importance of Giving Back to the Communities You Operate In

As industrial business leaders and property owners focus on their own operations, it’s sometimes easy to forget that all businesses exist as part of a larger community. Without the support of the cities and towns they operate in, industrial businesses wouldn’t have the resources, infrastructure, or workforce necessary to bring their products and services to the market. Finding ways to give back helps business leaders build a better community and a better place to work.

The Benefits of Giving Back to the Community

It’s essential for industrial operators to take an active interest in the wellbeing of the communities they serve and work within. Finding ways to donate time, money, or resources in service to the public offers numerous advantages for the donating business. Some of these include:

  • Higher employee morale. Whether you run a small machine shop or an international industrial fulfillment network, the people who work in your operation undoubtedly come from the communities where each facility resides. Showing your workforce that your business supports the community they live in through donations and volunteer opportunities has a measurable positive impact on workplace morale.
  • Positive public image. While your organization may not donate to charities and community efforts for the attention, a little publicity certainly doesn’t hurt. With consumers and industrial buyers increasingly prioritizing ethical and sustainable business practices, industrial businesses that demonstrate a willingness to support their local communities will find themselves more desirable to future customers.
  • Charitable tax deductions. Donating money, inventory, and certain other resources to charitable causes can offer a nice deduction for industrial businesses come tax time. Most businesses can deduct charitable donations equal to 50% of adjusted gross income.
  • Improving the community. Improving quality of life in your locality will have long-term benefits not only for the people who live there, but for your business. Making your city or town an attractive place to live will make it more appealing for current employees and help to draw future skilled talent to the area.

Ways Your Business Can Give Back

If the term “giving back” feels a little non-specific, here are some suggestions on ways your industrial business can contribute to improvements in your community.

  • Donate to local schools. Many schools operate on a tight budget and have to rely on community support to fund things like new constructions, sports teams, field trips, and arts programs. By supporting a school, you make an investment in the future of your community.
  • Combat urban blight. Unused industrial facilities can create numerous problems for communities, often acting as a haven for criminal activity, polluting groundwater and soil, creating breeding grounds for vermin, and driving down surrounding property values. The industrial sector is uniquely positioned to purchase these blighted urban industrial facilities and restore them or tear them down to make room for new construction. Doing so allows industrial operators to expand their footprint while drastically improving quality of life for the surrounding neighborhood.
  • Fund outreach programs. Homeless shelters, youth centers, and other similar outreach programs may exist to give a helping hand to the underprivileged, but these types of organizations are very often woefully underfunded. Businesses can help impoverished citizens in their communities by donating to the outreach programs that assist them.
  • Support a food pantry. Food pantries play a critical role in the fight against food insecurity in many communities. Many such organizations go above and beyond in the battle against hunger by helping struggling families pay rent, utilities, and more. Supporting a local food pantry is a great way to make a positive impact on your local area.

These are only a few of the ways that industrial business leaders can have a positive impact on the communities they live and work in. For more ideas, try polling your staff to see what sort of community initiatives interest them most.

About Phoenix Investors

Founded by Frank P. Crivello in 1994, Phoenix Investors and its affiliates (collectively “Phoenix”) are a leader in the acquisition, development, renovation, and repositioning of industrial facilities throughout the United States. Utilizing a disciplined investment approach and successful partnerships with institutional capital sources, corporations and public stakeholders, Phoenix has developed a proven track record of generating superior risk adjusted returns, while providing cost-efficient lease rates for its growing portfolio of national tenants. Its efforts inspire and drive the transformation and reinvigoration of the economic engines in the communities it serves. Phoenix continues to be defined by thoughtful relationships, sophisticated investment tools, cost efficient solutions, and a reputation for success. Phoenix is equally invested in community improvement, supporting organizations such as Running Rebels, the Sojourner Truth House, Cristo Rey Jesuit High School – Milwaukee, the Gerald L. Ignace Indian Health Center, and other local nonprofits that work to make our communities better places to live.

Kurt Jensen is the Senior Vice President, Acquisitions & Leasing of Phoenix Investors, a national real estate firm specializing in industrial real estate based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He is a seasoned executive with over 25 years of entrepreneurial, management, and deal-making experience.

Frank P. Crivello is a Milwaukee-based developer and Chairman & Founder of Phoenix Investors.

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