Small businesses in the UK are "a legion of fundraisers" with more than seven in ten donating to good causes, according to new research.
A survey by online business marketplace BusinessesForSale.com has found that 72% of small businesses in the UK give to one or more charities or other good causes.
The type of donations varies and includes traditional fundraising, allowing staff time off to lend support and providing goods and services on a pro bono basis. Most small businesses surveyed support multiple charities and other not-for-profit organisations, with one small business raising an impressive £28,000 for charity in 2016.
Rufus Bazley, director of marketing at BusinessesForSale.com, said: "This survey really demonstrates how, collectively, the UK's small business community forms a legion of fundraisers. We know how important the UK's small businesses are for the economy, now it is time to acknowledge how vital they are for the community."
On average, alongside non-monetary gifts, the small businesses surveyed raised £3,436 in 2016 for charity. The findings also show that although SMEs support a wide variety of good causes, many are close to home - small independent charities and societies that rarely reach the limelight received the most donations.
Most small businesses also reported that supporting good causes had internal benefits, with many detailing how staff morale and motivation has improved. A small number said that charitable giving was also good for the business' bottom line.
The 2018 Small Business Big Heart Awards, run by BusinessesForSale.com, will open for entries on Friday 29 September.