If you ask the average suburbanite or small-town denizen for their thoughts on “big business,” chances are they will not sing the praises of major corporations and industry giants. Unfortunately, the term “big business” brings with it a sense of impersonal companies bringing unwanted changes to small communities.
While the industrialization of a previously rural community does represent change for its citizens, the arrival of “big businesses” does not have to be a negative event. With their far-reaching influences that extend beyond bottom-line results, corporations have a special opportunity to help individuals and families flourish through good stewardship.
Watson Land Company was founded in 1912 on the commitment to serve as “good stewards of the land” and since that time we have committed to being good stewards of our most precious resource: the men, women, and children that make up the communities in which we have a presence.
To improve your relationships with the citizens in your local communities, we encourage you to adopt these 4 keys to good stewardship.
#1 Improve the Quality of Life for Employees and Locals
As we like to say, quality of life begins with a job. At every rung of the corporate ladder, we can help individuals to improve the quality of life for themselves and their families by giving them the chance to earn an income. Our customers provide employment for several thousand Southern California residents.
When a tenant moves into one of Watson Land Company’s distribution centers or warehouses, they immediately provide job opportunities to the local communities. Through the creation of our masterplanned industrial parks, we seek to give people the means to provide for their families and to prosper.
For example, the development of Watson Industrial Park Chino is predicted to bring 1,500 new jobs to the area. But, providing much-needed job opportunities is just one way that corporations can be good neighbors to the communities in which they have a presence.
#2 Be a Good Neighbor by Honoring Local Character and by Feeding the Economy
Far from destroying a community’s character and color, good corporate neighbors can enhance the lifestyle enjoyed by citizens by bolstering their economy. As big businesses attract more trade and feed into the city’s revenue via sales tax, communities can reinvest in the parks, playgrounds, libraries, recreation centers, and other community assets that define them. Historic old town centers can be restored, streets can be repaired, and city landscapes can be beautified with the added revenue corporations deliver.
At Watson, we manage our land resources to directly benefit our communities. Our investments in real estate yield long-term benefits, often replacing blighted, vacant, or underutilized land. Additionally, we strive to honor the heritage of our communities: At Watson Industrial Park Chino, for example, we planted hand-selected oaks that compliment Chino’s rural beauty and have honored community leaders with street naming.
#3 Use Your Unique Resources to Empower Citizens
To fully integrate with the communities in which they are involved, companies have a responsibility to invest in the enrichment and education of individuals and families. The funds, connections, and resources of major companies mean that they can have a meaningful impact on a meaningful scale—whether that’s through donating the time of their employees, setting up grant opportunities, or giving citizens access to their expertise and specialized resources.
In this spirit, Watson Land Company assisted Porsche in forming a link with the Carson High School Auto Mechanic Program. Through a substantial grant, a program to enhance student training, and the provision of scholarships, Porsche gives students abundant opportunities to excel in a real-world field that is in high demand.
Because of the nature of our business, we strive to be a bridge between our communities and our tenants by continually developing our presence as a good corporate partner and by encouraging our peers to make similar investments as well. By investing in the pillars of our communities, we improve the quality of life for everyone.
#4 Directly Invest in Existing Community Organizations
To produce enduring, life-changing results, corporations can directly turn to the organizations that are involved in the everyday lives of the families that live and work in their communities. Corporations can have a major impact by financially supporting organizations whose central objective is to make a positive contribution to the quality of community life on a fundamental, tangible, lasting basis.
Through grants, investments, and direct involvement on a personal level in established organizations, corporations and big businesses can help sustain vibrant communities where individuals can thrive. When families can flourish in safe, stable environments that are rich in opportunities, we can all prosper—from the biggest businesses to the smallest mom-and-pop shop.
A Corporate Call to Action
As part of our mission of strengthening our local communities, we encourage the involvement of other industry leaders and corporate giants in philanthropic efforts. With the vast array of resources at the disposal of major businesses, there is no end to the good we can accomplish in the everyday lives of those around us. In turn, big businesses and corporations can enjoy better bottom-line results from earning the respect and support of local citizens.