Thirty rescues, one person missing, and many destroyed buildings. This was the effect of last month’s flooding in Historic Ellicott City which follows nearly two years after the last flooding that devastated businesses. This is JST.B’s local community, and we recognize why it is necessary to respond. As we continue to speak about making positive impacts, this begins with reacting to the needs of our own communities.

At JST.B, we mainly focus on responding to needs from a business standpoint. However, we want to live out our values by being responsive from an ethical standpoint as well. We cannot just speak about being a trustworthy brand if we do not live that way. When people see a business tending to the needs of the community they are in, people will begin to view the business as honestly seeking the best for their customers as they go beyond just providing a service or product.

Every business has the potential to provide good services. But every business also has the potential to reach further and provide valuable impact. If all we ever offer is services, are we really reaching our full potential to have a strong, positive presence in the market?

As you analyze where your business can make an impact, you must first understand - who is your community? Your answer may depend on where your business is physically located, but it may instead rely on who your target group is and the community you’ve invited your target group to be a part of.

Once you determine this, you must listen well. Listening does not just mean that you research or hear about what your community needs. It includes critically thinking about what the issue is, why it exists and how it can be solved. This deeper thought on the issue will reflect your business’s passion for resolving the issue and show genuine care for a resolution instead of just responding with superficial solutions.

There are needs everywhere, and there are people hurting everywhere. Too often we as individuals, and we as businesses, get so caught up in the daily grind of work and routine. But we must take time to stop, take time to listen, and take time to just respond.