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As the most “thankful” season of the year approaches, small businesses declare their desire to give back to their communities

Sage North America, a leading provider of business management software and services to small and medium businesses, today announced results of a new study that reveals small businesses’ support of their local communities. In the study, conducted in July 2015, Sage found that virtually all small business owners personally donate to charities and nonprofit organizations (92 percent).

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The study also revealed that the majority of small businesses encourage their employees to give back, with 53 percent saying they encourage their employees to volunteer their time. Fifty-eight percent of small business owners would like to do more to support their local community.

Sage 50 Accounting customer Catoctin Creek Distilling Company takes pride in giving back to its community in Loudoun County, Virginia. Founder and General Manager Scott Harris said, “At Catoctin Creek, we believe in being good corporate citizens and engaging with the community. For us, that means buying local produce to support independent farmers. We give our spent rye mash to farmers for organic and nutrient-rich livestock feed. This not only minimizes our costs, but also bolsters the local economy.”

It’s important to understand the impact small businesses have on the local economy, particularly as the busiest shopping season of the year draws nearer. As stated in the January 2015 Jobs Report, small businesses in the U.S. created nearly 2 million of the approximately 3 million private-sector jobs generated in 2014.

In addition to job creation, small businesses funnel more of every dollar spent back into the local economy than other retailers. According to the research firm Civic Economics, for every $100 spent at a locally operated business, roughly $68 stays in the local community.

“Small businesses are a vital part of our nation’s economy and of the local economies they operate in,” said Jodi Uecker, interim president, Sage North America. “As the holiday shopping season approaches, shop at local small businesses to support your community.”

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