Small Business Social Responsibility

Corporate social responsibility is standard nowadays, but the concept of small business social responsibility or SBSR is relatively new. The concept is similar to CSR, except in the level of small businesses. While CSR concentrates on the ability and resources of a large corporate entity to be directed in an ethical manner, SBSR concentrates on the actions a small business can make in order to have a similar effect on a smaller scale.

A large entity like a corporation, whose pursuit of profit may be a large contributor to social change, but just as consumer social responsibility has its part, Small Business Social Responsibility is essential to complete a chain that will truly create change.

What Can Small Businesses Do?

You might think small businesses have little to no power or sway in matters like these, but just as consumer social responsibility where the actions of an individual affect the collective as a whole; Implementing SBSR creates a standard in your industry, however small, other businesses may inclined to follow. These actions and standards are but not limited to the following:


A standard many have forgotten in business, it is assumed that dishonesty is merely part of any business transaction. Transparency is the key to a civilized transaction that may not result in at best resentment and worse hostility. Becoming an example of a profiting business that practices honesty might be the best way for any small business to practice social responsibility.

Environmental Standards

One’s business does not need to own a private recycling plant in order to show environmental responsibility; a business operating with environmental standards, something as simply having waste segregation can easily influence individuals and competitors to do the right thing.

Getting Involved with the Local Community

One thing small businesses have that corporations fail to truly achieve is their close ties with a local community. Becoming involve shows humanity and willingness to be part of something bigger, and have a relationship with the community that goes beyond transacting goods and services for their money. Each problem that the community faces, the small business is there as it is also their problem, becoming a pillar of the community.


Small businesses will find it difficult to create foundations tied to their company in order to do charitable work. Giving as an entity shows that it is more than just a business establishment, but a member of the community that truly cares.


Small Business Social Responsibility has little to do with the effects of the actions of one business, and more to do with leading by example. Large corporations may have to power to effect change on its own, but through example, one small business could influence many to operate in a certain ethical manner.

Becoming a standard that could even transcend its industry, which could give an equal or even possibly surpassing the same amount of social change that Corporate Social Responsibility could do. SBSR might at first seem like a bothersome thing that negatively affects a small businesses’ bottom-line but in reality, the only thing that may be able to create true sustainability.