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Companies see benefit in boosting communities

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Companies are increasingly aware of connections between community and corporate health, says a study by the Business Civic Leadership Center of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

As a result, businesses are investing more in their communities, says the 2008 “Report on the State of Corporate Community Investment.”

“Companies across the nation are discovering that investments in their communities are good not just for the communities, but for their bottom line as well,” Benjamin Erulkar, deputy assistant secretary of commerce for economic development, says in a statement.

Nine in 10 companies said they donate cash to community causes, and nearly eight in 10 said they make in-kind donations.

More than four in 10 provide pro-bono services, and more than half allow their employees to volunteer on company time.

Companies made 54.9 percent of their donations to educational issues, more than any other cause.

Youth and family issues came in second with 44.9 percent of donations.

And more than seven in 10 companies reported positive working relationships with nonprofit leaders, while about five in 10 reported positive relationships with government leaders and economic-development professionals.

High tax rates and a lack of qualified workers were seen as the top issues that need to be resolved to foster economic development and competitiveness.

The Business Civic Leadership Center serves as a resource for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce about the philanthropic interests of the business community.

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