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Businesses are always looking for innovative ways to grow and stay ahead of their competition in today's hyper-competitive business environment. While many companies focus on strategies such as marketing, advertising, or product development, philanthropy is often overlooked. However, philanthropy, which involves giving to those in need, can provide significant benefits to both those in need and businesses themselves. In Dallas, small businesses have taken an active role in philanthropy, incorporating it into their business models to enhance their reputation, increase customer loyalty and attract new customers.

Core Fitness, located in Oak Cliff, is emerging as a leader in the Dallas business community by incorporating philanthropic initiatives into their business strategies. For example, Core Fitness has partnered with La Canastita to create a community food pantry to address food insecurity in Oak Cliff. This initiative is a collaboration between Core Fitness, La Canastita ( a volunteer run mutual aid group, with a consistent history of community impact in Oak Cliff), and other community members. When asked about his motivation for the food pantry, Frank, emerging local hero & Owner of Core Fitness, said, “I my self grew up in a bit of food desert, we mainly relied on convenient stores. We also relied on local pantries and now that I’m finally in a more stable place I want to give back the way many gave to me and my family as we pushed through tough times. “  The pantry, which accepts non-perishable and perishable items, is located in the back of the gym, (508 Suite A W. Jefferson Blvd. Dallas, TX 75208) and donations can be made there as well as being the pick up point. The pantry has attracted significant attention and has already opened up new opportunity that has led to significant engagement on social media.

Businesses directly addressing issues like food insecurity have significant economic benefits for the community. By giving back to their community, businesses and organizations strengthen their reputation, increase customer loyalty, and add to the actual dollar value of their communities. The Geography of Food Insecurity, a study by Crossroads Community Services, in Dallas shows that while food assets are present in and around each area, when compared with the rest of the county, these areas are highly underserved in both accessibility to market-based or charitable food providers and choice of nutritious food providers, compared to the rest of the nation. 34% of food distributed to food dispersal sites flows to Southwestern Dallas County. Roughly a quarter of the food insecure population in Dallas County, about 133,000 people, live in areas of concentrated food insecurity. Much of Dallas County’s food insecure population lives in areas that have low accessibility to either retail or charitable food providers. Local heroes like Core Fitness, when partnering with local organizations like La Canastita, can make a significant impact in addressing food insecurity in their communities.

Many small businesses have collaborated to tackle social issues, creating more positive outcomes for the community. By pooling their resources and expertise, they can tackle larger and more complex social issues. Moreover, when businesses and community organizations collaborate to give back to the community, they can achieve greater impact and create more meaningful change than they could alone. Working together can foster goodwill and create stronger connections between businesses and the community, attracting new partners. According to Frank, “I’m definitely amazed by the response many have had and no I never did any of this (for reasons) besides just wanting to give where I can. Even if it’s keeping my business afloat so our pantry can exist.” The pantry is already attracting local business collaboration. For instance, Restorative Farms, a local hydroponic food grower, is already committing resources to stock and maintain the project. 

The more local businesses incorporate philanthropy into their business model, the faster business philanthropy will become the norm. Though an intentionally extreme example, World Change Business Services is doing it’s part as well, by providing local businesses with an easy avenue to contribute to their communities while enjoying many natural benefits, of philanthropy, themselves. The Shop 2 Save The World Initiative, World Change Business Services' flagship program, allocates 50% of the generated, payment processing, revenue towards directly addressing housing, food, and medication insecurity in Dallas. The program offers comparable, top-of-the-line payment processing products and services at the same cost as local businesses' current providers. The only real difference for local businesses is the automatic allocation of their processing fees to address real community issues.

Businesses looking for new and easy avenues for growth should consider incorporating philanthropy into their business models, as it can provide significant benefits to their reputation and bottom line and real dollar value of their local community. When businesses give back to their communities, they naturally create an environment of camaraderie that spreads throughout the entire community, attracting new customers, and enhancing their reputation. Core Fitness and La Canastita are excellent examples of how small businesses can collaborate to be local heroes and make a significant impact in addressing food insecurity in their communities.

The local Dallas community at large can be heroes & instrumental to the success of local business initiatives by casting their dollar vote at businesses that are focused on direct community impact. Be a hero by spreading the word through simple conversation, social media engagement and direct conversations with the businesses that you frequent, encouraging engagement in local issues through existing initiatives or starting their own and of course... Shop2SaveTheWorld with local business heroes that are doing their part to save the world - one person, one community, one planet at a time. 

Shop 2 Save The World with these local heroes like Core Fitness and find out more about supporting this and other initiatives by La Canastita: Core Fitness - La Canastita - Restorative Farms

 Support the Shop2SaveTheWorld Initiative on social media and follow along as we address real issues for real people in your communities and beyond. - Facebook - Twitter - Instagram

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