Small Businesses With A Big Heart

There are a whopping 30.2 million small businesses in the United States, which makes up 99.9 percent of all companies combined. They each have a wide range of specialties from baked goods, animal rescue, electronics, and more. One of the nice things about small businesses is that customers are able to feel more connected to the product or service.

For years these companies have been finding new and unique ways to give back to their communities. Through their business, they’re able to spread kindness and raise awareness for those in need. Other businesses should take note of what these people are doing.

Anton’s Cleaners Keeps Kids Warm

kids holding coats for a fundrasier
Coats for Kids/Facebook
Coats for Kids/Facebook

One of New England’s most popular dry cleaners has been helping kids warm for almost two decades. Every year Anton’s Cleaners in Lowell, Massachusetts organizes a coat drive called Coats for Kids. Their main goal is to gather as many coasts as they can to provide the gift of warmth to children in need.

Anton’s Cleaners posts flyers around the area and promotes their drive on social media to get as many donations as possible. It’s very fitting that a dry cleaner would do something charitable with clothes.

Goodio Will Make You Want To Buy More Chocolate

three people posing for a picture with wrapped chocolates
goodiogoods/Instagram
goodiogoods/Instagram

Goodio is one of Finland’s top small chocolate companies. Not only is their product delicious chocolate, but they are also doing everything in their power to make it an ethical process on the back end. First, they source their cocoa from well-researched farms in South America and Africa.

Then, they take their profits and put it toward efforts to help women and children in underprivileged areas gain access to education. Finally, their non-profit partner will donate a life-saving packet of food to those women and children.

Avenue Real Estate Group Had the Fundraiser of the Year

people dressed in business attire posing for a photo
Avenue Real Estate Group/Facebook
Avenue Real Estate Group/Facebook

When Avenue Real Estate Group in Chesterfield, Missouri heard about a family that was battling cancer they knew they had to do something to help. They decided a fundraiser at a local restaurant would do the trick. The company organized mouse races, a silent auction, raffles, games, and a pay-per-plate barbecue.

Many local sponsors also wanted to pitch in, including the St. Louis Cardinals. By the time the event ended, Avenue Real Estate Group raised over $7,000.

Honest Soul Yoga Wants to Better the Lives of Veterans

a woman holding her arms in a yoga pose
Honest Soul Yoga/Instagram
Honest Soul Yoga/Instagram

Suzie Mills, an Air Force Veteran, decided to open a small business of her own that was veteran-oriented. As she was starting Honest Soul Yoga her main wish for the company was to provide a community for veterans.

Mills understood the challenges of frequently moving to new cities, being away from family, and other difficult sacrifices. Over half their employees are veterans and military spouses because they want to create a place where people who fall into those categories feel comfortable and welcomed.

Big Feet Matter at The Shoe Garden

a woman sitting next to a shelf with shoes
theshoegardenaustralia/Instagram
theshoegardenaustralia/Instagram

A small business owner in Brisbane, Australia is changing the game for women’s shoes. Carol Haffke is making her customers feel empowered and confident in their footwear with The Shoe Garden. All of the items are for women with feer that are size 10 or larger, which can be a difficult size to find in mainstream footwear outlets.

After all her success, Haffke also pitched in a large charitable donation. It took them a year to raise $12,000 for the MicroLoan Foundation Australia, a charity that provides small business loans to women in Malawi.

Blue Fish Clothing is Keeping the Planet Safe

two women standing in front of a brick wall in blue and orange clothing
Blue Fish Clothing/Facebook
Blue Fish Clothing/Facebook

Blue Fish Clothing is a unique, hand-printed organic women’s clothing business that’s been in operation since 1986. Owner, founder, and designer Jennifer Barclay started the company out of her parent’s garage. Barclay believes her clothes are nothing like what’s seen in popular stores, but that’s also what makes them worth wearing.

All of her clothes are made in the U.S. and are eco-friendly and sustainable. Barclay mentioned that all her clothes are not only comfortable but also empowering. Consumers will also have peace of mind knowing that their money is going towards bettering the planet.

Surfinjunkie Reaches Out to Foster Kids

jeanne lacelle standing at a crafting area
Jeanne LaCelle/Instagram
Jeanne LaCelle/Instagram

Small business owner Jeanne LaCelle saw the potential for creating a company by utilizing eBay. LaCelle runs her own account called Surfinjunkie where she sells miscellaneous items to customers online. After 17 years she decided to return some of her profit.

Since she’s a former foster child she made the choice to give back to young girls who are in foster care. She hopes that her donations will keep them from becoming homeless later in life and inspire them to reach both their personal and educational goals.

Stella Boutique Helps People on the Other Side of the World

two women in a boutique holding a sign that says show love, #shopsmall
Stella Boutique/Facebook
Stella Boutique/Facebook

At Stella Boutique customers can find chic and funky clothes and accessories in a small and comfortable environment. The shop is located in Evanston, Illinois and provides the ultimate shopping experience for anyone. Many small businesses love to give back and that stays true for Stella Boutique.

They threw together a Retail Therapy Night, which included refreshments, discounts, and a fun atmosphere. A portion of the proceeds went toward supporting a cause called Friends of the Children of Haiti. The charity provides life-saving medical care and education to the community in Cyvadier, Haiti.

Nashville Running Company Gives Back in an Admirable Way

three men wearing medals and holding coffee mugs
Nashville Running Company/Facebook
Nashville Running Company/Facebook

Nashville Running Company owner, Lee Wilson, always knew that he wanted to start a small business. His local running store has helped him become more involved and strengthen his relationship with his community. One of his workers named Christa Poremba saw opportunities for Nashville Running Company to give back.

The team loved the idea of providing comfort to children in need, so they reached out to Monroe Carrell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt and The Ronald McDonald House of Nashville. Their stores now have toy bins for toy drives and also provide a list to customers of what they can bring in for the kids.

Kaross Provides Endless Possibilities for Their Employees

three women laughing and holding pieces of cake in a park
Kaross/Facebook
Kaross/Facebook

Irma Van Rooyen, the founder of Kaross, was introduced to embroidery by her mother but made music and art all on her own. She then became inspired by the Tsonga people in South Africa and wanted to help them tell their stories.

Rooyen was able to grow her embroidery company to 22 full-time employees who would be at risk without employment. They all create beautiful pieces, while also bringing home a good income to support their families and hopefully give their children a better future. Unlike other companies in rural South Africa, Kaross is able to provide year-round employment that prevents them from having to relocate.

Why the Mayor Supports Willy’s Bagels and Blends

people standing in front of a grand opening of a restaurant
Willy’s Bagels & Blends/Facebook
Willy’s Bagels & Blends/Facebook

Residents in Brentwood, California swear by the coffee and homemade bagels at Willy’s Bagels & Blends. Similar to some other small businesses, this local restaurant is family- owned and is a staple in the community. Brentwood Mayor Bob Taylor even praised them for always giving back and using their business for good.

One of the events they participate in is a community-wide Thanksgiving dinner where they provide meals to those who either can’t afford it or are left alone during the holidays. On top of that, they also support various local schools and charities.

ShopNetTV Wants Everything to Be Local

two men and two women posing for a selfie
ShopNetTV/Twitter
ShopNetTV/Twitter

One of Calgary’s most selfless small companies is an online video shopping network called ShopNetTV. They put their emphasis on living local and building a stronger sense of community. ShopNetTV aims to steer consumers toward local retailers and help local businesses find a new way to discover customers.

Every time someone makes a purchase through their business, they donate a portion of their profits to local charities. Founder Nelson Liem was inspired by the rise of viral videos and TV shopping networks such as QVC and combined them to cater to local small businesses.

Get the Best Service at Gary’s Tackle Box

two men holding two fish each in front of a lake
Gary’s Tackle Box/Facebook
Gary’s Tackle Box/Facebook

In the small town of Gainsville, Florida many fishing enthusiasts look for a tackle shop that makes them feel like family. Even though there may not be too much merchandise to choose from at Gary’s Tackle Box, everyone behind the counter does their best to get to know their customers.

Owner Gary Simpson loves the art of fishing and spends most of his time educating the people who come into the shop about the dos and don’ts. Also, Simpson holds an Annual Customer Appreciation Day where he shows his gratitude for the consumers who support his shop.

What Other Businesses Need to Learn From Barebones Living

people sitting around a table in conversation outside
Barebones Living/Facebook
Barebones Living/Facebook

Barebones Living is all about food, nature, and the great outdoors. They supply customers with outdoor gear and special expertise on what it means to live the outdoor lifestyle. Their business plan can be divided into three parts; open-fire cooking, nature-centered dining, and transformative communal experiences.

They are a Certified B Corporation, which means that their profits make a positive impact on their employees, the community, and the planet. Some of their profits directly benefit farmers in Africa and provide shelters to the people in Nepal. Barebones Living also runs a local garden to benefit low income and elderly members in the community.

Thread’s Inspiration is Absolutely Heartwarming

a man posing in front of a gate
Thread/Facebook
Thread/Facebook

The idea for Thread started when founder Ian Rosenberger traveled to Haiti after the huge earthquake in 2010. He noticed that they were turning things that may be considered trash into a profit and he thought he could do the same. His fabric company is able to turn literal trash into fabric.

The fabric is then sold to companies around the world who make eco-friendly apparel. Many of the items are very fashionable and even some celebrities have been spotted wearing them.

Mitchell’s Homemade Ice Cream’s Positive Impact on the World

a person holding a bunch of pints of ice cream
Mitchell’s Homemade Ice Cream/Facebook
Mitchell’s Homemade Ice Cream/Facebook

Cleveland, Ohio is the spot for those looking for a sustainable and delicious ice cream option. Mitchell’s Homemade Ice Cream is hand-crafted daily, working with farmers from around the world that bring them the freshest ingredients possible.

One of the unique things found on their website is the location for every single ingredient they use, ranging from Ohio to Madagascar, Ghana, Brazil, Indonesia, India, Vietnam, and Pakistan. Mitchell’s Homemade Ice Cream also utilizes solar energy with rooftop panels and uses locally made and refurbished furniture.

Colonial Bowling & Entertainment Believes in Sustainable Living

four people holding bowling balls
Colonial Bowling & Entertainment/Facebook
Colonial Bowling & Entertainment/Facebook

It’s rare to think of a bowling alley as anything more than a place for people to get together and score some strikes, but Colonial Bowling & Entertainment is more than that. This New Jersey hot spot is bringing sustainability to the forefront.

They do this in a myriad of ways. They serve a lot of fast food and reuse all of their cooking oil, which prevents almost 40 tons of cooking waste from being disposed of in a landfill. All of their furniture is repurposed, they use electronic timers to save energy, and will work around employees schedules by allowing their kids to come to work with them.

Drink Differently with Bevi

a group of people wearing blue beanies
Bevi/Facebook
Bevi/Facebook

In 2013 Bevi founders Eliza Becton, Sean Grundy, and Frank Lee teamed up to build a prototype of a water machine that would reduce the waste of plastic water bottles. It was designed to replace water coolers and vending machines with healthy beverage alternatives.

Their product is a touch-screen drink system that connects to a tap water line and also uses the internet to discover new beverage trends. It’s filled with reusable beverage containers, which makes it sustainable for the planet.

Fulfill Your Floral Dreams at Charming

four women wearing aprons and holding succulents
Charming Florals Planning Design Boutique/Facebook
Charming Florals Planning Design Boutique/Facebook

People visiting Dallas, Texas can find all of their floral needs at Charming. The small business specializes in floral design, wedding and event planning, paper suites, and creative workshops. Charming is a family-owned business that works hard to fulfill the dreams of their customers.

Something interesting about their company is that all of the items they use are locally sourced from other Dallas small businesses. Others in the community agree that Charming is a small business with a big heart.

Better World Books Makes Reading Fun

a crowd gathered around a book drop-off box
Better World Books/Facebook
Better World Books/Facebook

People of all ages have basked in the enjoyment of reading a great book. One small company in Goshen, Indiana is taking the country’s love for reading to the next level. Better World Books collects and resells books of all genres online. Then, they take their profits and use them to donate and fund literacy initiatives worldwide.

Their internet library includes over eight million books, so there’s definitely something for everyone. Some of their surprising statistics include a donation of over 25,298,592 books, recycling 293,766,497 books, and raising $26,800,727 for charity.