It is more blessed to give than to receive and no one knows better than independent business owners how true that is.
For Cheryl Lisi, giving to others is the best part of her job, said the co-owner of Let’s Make Wine and secretary of Locally Owned Murfreesboro.
“It’s important for me to give because it makes me feel connected to the community. I want to help those who want help, but it also makes me feel like I’m making a difference in my community when I contribute my fair share,” Lisi said.
Lisi isn’t the only independent business in Murfreesboro or the nation who contributes their fair share.
Other LOM member businesses Cultivate Coworking, Contract Management Services, Bilbro Trucking Co., The Alley on Main, L&L Contractors and Lori Gonzalez all donate time, money and more to help make the community a better place.
Independent businesses make a contribution of time and resources valued at $6,600 each for a total of roughly $40 billion on the national level to charitable causes, a survey from the National Federation of Independent Businesses found.
The NFIB survey discovered the overwhelming impact of independent businesses on their community through support of nonprofit organizations, civic groups, youth athletics and more.
In the poll from 2004, 91 percent of respondents said they contribute to the community through volunteering, in-kind contributions, and/or direct cash donations. About 41 percent contributed all three ways.
Seventy percent of respondents provided in-kind donations, while another 70 percent gave cash to their favorite causes.
But the businesses didn’t stop there; they were just as generous with their time.
On average, independent business owners volunteer more than 12 hours per month, or the equivalent of 18 working days per year, to charitable causes through a variety of ways, including holding an office or a board position.
LOM member Matthew Chase with McFarlin Financial Partners volunteers with multiple nonprofits in Rutherford County.
“Through MYP I do a lot of work with the United Way of Rutherford and Cannon Counties, Junior Achievement, and Murfreesboro city schools. I like to volunteer for programs with an emphasis on education, so that we can make a difference in future generations,” he said.
The good will from independent businesses is extended to local nonprofits, schools, civic organizations, religious organizations and athletic groups.
“I give to basically anyone who comes in here and asks,” Lisi said, who has given since opening her store six years ago.
So far in 2016, Let’s Make Wine has given nearly $1,000 to those who asked.
Those organizations and events included Autumn at the Alley, Rockin the Rescue, Discovery Center’s Secret Garden Party, St. Rose Catholic Church Women’s Guild, Journeys in Community Living, and Read To Succeed’s Celebrity Spelling Bee, just to name a few.
“From athletic leagues to volunteering, everybody is doing something,” Lisi said.
Shawn and Christy Hackinson sponsor a monthly wine tasting and dinner for different charities. They are also a drop off point for Second Harvest Food Bank of Middle Tennessee.
L&L Contractors,volunteers throughout the year with Greenhouse Ministries.
Lori Gonzalez, The RayNa Corporation, is sponsoring a soldier’s return home for the holidays before he deploys to the Middle East.
Bilbro Trucking Co., Chris Bilbro, provides transportation for supplies for Habitat for Humanity of Rutherford County.