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In your experience…

What builds the strongest bonds between businesses and the communities they serve?

Sadiq Khan

Mayor of London

Sadiq Khan

“I want London to be a place where members of all communities can flourish, whatever their background. A key part of delivering my promise to be the most pro-business mayor London has ever had is ensuring businesses of all sizes are committed to fairness.

For instance, I am absolutely determined to drive up gender equality across industry and I’m proud to say City Hall is already leading by example. Last year, I published a full gender pay audit for my staff and all functional bodies across the Greater London Authority family, while more than half the members of my Business Advisory Board are female. In addition, I announced an increase in the London Living Wage, which is being offered by more employers than ever before. This is a win-win, as employees feel more valued while businesses can attract and retain staff.

I’m clear that economic fairness is not just about doing the right thing: It makes good business sense too. A fairer city is healthier, safer and more prosperous.”

LeBron James

Founder, LeBron James Family Foundation

LeBron James

“The key for me, in everything I do, is authenticity. In order to create real, long-term change and to build meaningful relationships, it has to be authentic. With the LeBron James Family Foundation, almost all of our partners are local businesses, because they understand our needs and care about our kids. Our kids are the future, so their investment in these students is an investment in our community. And because they live here and work here, that means something to them. The support we get from our community partners is what our ‘we are family’ philosophy is all about, and that to me is the strongest bond you can have between businesses and the communities they serve.”

Gail J. McGovern

President and CEO, American Red Cross

Gail McGovern

“In my experience, businesses engender trust when they reinvest in the communities they serve and when their employees are engaged as volunteers. These actions can take many forms — from supporting local preparedness and emergency relief to installing smoke alarms in vulnerable neighborhoods, to serving meals in food kitchens, to mentoring youth in after-school programs. All of these activities work to ensure that businesses are firmly rooted in the fabric of their communities. In addition, I believe it’s important that businesses hire employees who accurately reflect the diversity of the communities they serve, that they establish open communication and positive relationships with local governments and that they strive to be responsive and accessible to their customers and other stakeholders.”

Jacques Panis

President, Shinola

Jacques Panis

“When we first came to Detroit five years ago, we saw a city with a rich heritage in manufacturing and a population of people who collectively wanted to work on shaping the future of this town. With the mission of creating world-class manufacturing jobs in the U.S., we made an investment in this city because we knew there was a future here, but we needed the support of the community behind us to be successful. We forged a strong bond between our business and our community simply by doing what we said we would do. For the 350+ people we have working in Detroit and over 600 globally, we are proving daily that their well-being matters to us. We believe in good jobs, jobs that pay livable wages and afford people the opportunity to grow within the organization. We foster people to become leaders and encourage them to have a positive influence inside and outside of the workplace. As we scale, our mission stays central so we can do the same in other communities across the country.”

Janet Murguia

President and CEO, National Council of La Raza

Janet Murguia

“From my experience, I’ve seen that we are stronger and more effective when we collaborate and work across sectors and communities than if we try to tackle problems alone.

That’s why it is important to have companies like JPMorgan Chase as partners to help meet those challenges.

When businesses bring their expertise and a commitment to help create innovative solutions — and nonprofit organizations bring their knowledge, understanding and values to the table — that helps all of us.”

Michael Porter

Bishop William Lawrence University Professor, Harvard Business School

Michael Porter

“Businesses create critical jobs and economic opportunity not only in the communities where they are located, but throughout the broader economy. Job creation, together with skill development, has the greatest potential to expand participation in the workforce, combat rising income inequality and grow our country’s prosperity and competitiveness. In distressed inner-city neighborhoods, leveraging the job and wealth creation power of businesses (and small businesses in particular) is the only sustainable and scalable approach to revitalization that will truly move the needle. We need community-based programs in inner cities that will improve the business environment, helping inner-city businesses become more competitive and access the employees they want to hire. The net result will be a win-win outcome. As the businesses prosper and grow, so will our inner cities.”

Dan Gilbert

Founder and Chairman, Quicken Loans & Rock Ventures

Dan Gilbert

“The people. Detroiters and Clevelanders are hard-working, innovative and creative. At Quicken Loans and our family of companies, we leverage these attributes and empower our team members to go out and make a difference in the local communities where they live, work and play. The world has heard of nonprofits and for-profits, but a company that incorporates a ‘more-than-profit’ core business strategy sets the stage for future growth. I wholeheartedly believe that because our nearly 30,000 team members work in downtown urban cores of Detroit and Cleveland, they feel more fully dedicated and are better at their day jobs as they play a part in the greater mission of growing a thriving local community.”

Virginia M. Rometty

Chairman, President and CEO, IBM Corporation

Virginia M. Rometty

“A deep commitment to collaboration and partnership by focusing our best efforts on the most pressing challenges facing society is what builds the strongest bonds between businesses and the communities they serve. As essential partners in corporate responsibility leadership, IBM and JPMorgan Chase have worked together on Corporate Service Corps engagements in Brazil and India to assist community efforts to stimulate economic growth. By providing our best talent to work in tandem with civic leaders to promote growth in cities like Detroit, we both have focused on efforts to address critical societal needs. And we both have focused our best efforts in partnership with educators to improve our schools’ ability to connect education to college and career and close the skills gap. But while we both have achieved much to be proud of, we still believe that there is much more to do.”