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It Does The Business Good

Philanthropy could help your family as much as it benefits others.

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This story appears in the April 2001 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

The first bullet point on Fleeger's Pro Hardware's mission statement, "We strive to have relationships that are open, truthful, understanding, courteous and loyal with each other, our customers and our community," telegraphs a great deal about the company's commitment to its community-and offers a tangible goal that all family businesses would be wise to reach for.

Fleeger's Pro Hardware, a 55-year-old family-owned hardware store in Toledo, Ohio, has articulated what family firms know almost instinctively: Family businesses are different; as such, relationships with their communities are critically important. "Community relations is not just part of their job-it's fundamental to their existence," says Craig Aronoff, director of the Cox Family Enterprise Center at Kennesaw State University in Marietta, Georgia.

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