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3 Heartwarming Tales of Local Businesses Giving to Their Communities, And Getting Much More In Return From an ice cream shop with a "scoop fund" to a tour guide company that helps fundraise to save local restaurants, these mom and pop businesses owners know serving their communities will serve their businesses in the long run.

By Entrepreneur Staff Edited by Frances Dodds

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This story appears in the July 2023 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Image Credit: Courtesy of Everyday Sundae

1. Everyday Sundae

Washington, D.C.

"When I first opened, there was a group of mommies who came in every Friday with their kids. One Friday, one of the moms, Nicole Harkin, noticed me giving free ice cream to a group of kids I know from the neighborhood, whose families don't have a lot of resources. The next week, Nicole came in and passed me an envelope with five $20 bills and told me to keep up the good work. That simple gesture started our community 'scoop fund.' Now customers donate to the scoop fund to pay it forward and purchase cones for the next customer. This has allowed me to support local school groups like Black Girls Rock, and some of the daycares and families in our community." — Owner Charles Foreman

Related: 6 Benefits of Having a Community When Building a Business

Image Credit: Courtesy of Tango's Empanadas

2. Tango's Empanadas

Boise, Idaho

"I'm from Argentina, and when my husband and I settled in Boise, I decided to introduce Idaho to empanadas. We were just opening our second location when the pandemic hit. We asked the landlord of the second location if we could park our food truck in the parking lot, but it was shared with the grocery store chain Albertsons — who said we had to go. I posted on our Facebook page asking if anyone knew a spot we could put the food truck, and a few days later, we got a call from Albertsons. They said the store had received so many calls from people — some saying they wouldn't shop there anymore, others asking them to let us return — that Albertsons gave us permission to go back." — Owners Monica and Luis Bremmer

Related: How Growing Businesses Can Prioritize Community Involvement

Image Credit: Courtesy of Savannah Taste Experience

3. Savannah Taste Experience

Savannah, Georgia

"We specialize in food tours, and in early 2019, we learned that one of our favorite restaurant owners, Theresa Weston (pictured), was at risk of losing Walls' BBQ — which was handed down from her grandmother. We began a GoFundMe campaign and found volunteers to update the property for new code requirements. Unfortunately, Walls' BBQ didn't survive the pandemic, but we still get emails about trying to revive the restaurant, and hope to have good news in the near future. We view these community support projects as not only a responsibility, but as providing value to us in a quantifiable way. They are always our best local marketing efforts." — Cofounder Stu Card

Related: Building Community Is Good Business

Entrepreneur Staff

Entrepreneur Staff


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