I have this daydream of one day having my own storefront, in which community care is a top priority. Not only by physically being a holding space for my local community to come and learn about how to use plants to better care for their own health, and that of their families, but also by providing monetary support for those in need. Each month, I'd select a organization or cause to highlight and support with a portion of my sales.
I am inspired by the bigger small businesses I see doing the similar things, in fact, this was the main reason I chose to study herbalism with the Chestnut School of Herbal Medicine. Being able to support myself doing what I love, while also giving back to the community around me is honestly a driving force behind my desire to run a small business. But when I think about what I can do, it's always thought of in the form of future contributions.
At the time of writing this, I am no where close to being financially independent from my business. They say it generally takes 5 years to turn a profit, and I am only 3 years in. How can I possibly give back when I am not making a profit? When I am spending more money than I am making? When I have to depend on having a side job to support my ability to create my offerings?
But when I think of what running a sustainable and holistic business looks like, I cannot separate it from contributing to community care. I wholeheartedly believe that businesses can and should make it a vital part of their operations to give back to those most impacted by ecological and socioeconomic disadvantages, particularly those who emphasis holistic healing. Because we cannot truly be well if the health of the most vulnerable are not also attended to. So, starting right now I am putting my dreams into practice and starting to make regular giving a part of my business model.
Starting January 2021, I will be incorporating monthly donations to support community efforts into my business plan. Half will go to local or national indigenous-led organizations, and the other half directly to individuals in need, prioritizing QTBIPOC folks. The specific details will be made more clear as the new year approaches, as I myself am still considering how I can make sustainable contributions a part of my business going forward.
I hope this effort helps to inspire other small businesses to do the same. I encourage you to meet yourself where you are and really consider what you can do right now, instead of waiting until you can give at your ideal capacity. I will be reevaluating my ability to give often as my business continues to grow.