Should Small Businesses Step Into Political and Social Issues Advocacy?

I’ve been around for more than five decades and have never seen a time when Americans were more polarized in their public speech. Sure, we’ve all felt one way or another about hot-button issues, but, for the most part, we kept those thoughts to ourselves. 

With the spread of easy-to-use social media, camera phones, and easy-to-make videos, it now seems like everyone is a publisher, creating content to share their once-private thoughts with the world. People have found communities–far left, far right, gun advocates, LGTBQ+ advocacy, and the like.

This is all good. Live your authentic life, and if you want to share your thoughts, do so. Free speech sets us apart from most of the world, and though ugly at times, it is a bedrock of what makes America a wonderful, dynamic county.

That said, at Kona Impact, we avoid any public advocacy of any issues. We don’t want to lose customers, and we know we would if we took a public stance on many issues. We’re a business, and perpetuating the business is job #1, #2, and #3 of what we do daily.

Do we support organizations that are aligned with our values? Absolutely, but not publicly. We donate thousands of dollars a year to things we value in our community, some possibly controversial and most not. In our non-work lives, we often donate time and money to things we support. Again, though, these are done without fanfare or public announcements.

Our goal is to be a place where everyone, and we mean everyone, can feel welcome and deserving of the best we can do. We strive to ensure everyone is treated with kindness, dignity, and respect.

We don’t begrudge or support any business’ choices at Kona Impact. We believe that most political and social issues are best addressed publicly on a personal and not business level.