Connecticut businesses make significant charitable contributions to their communities according to a new survey released today.

The 2015 Corporate Giving Survey found that 85% of surveyed companies contribute time and/or money to local charities, while 59% donate company products and services.

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Forty-two percent coordinate community events and 22% offer their employees incentives for participating in charitable activities.

And, while 56% of responding companies have held steady on their charitable contributions, 65% say they typically do more when the economy is strong and their company is growing.

“While Connecticut businesses have continued their tradition of charitable giving during a slow economic recovery, nearly two-thirds say they do even more when their business is thriving,” said Bonnie Stewart, CBIA’s vice president of government affairs and public policy and general counsel.

“This should send a clear signal to legislators: A public policy agenda that nurtures business growth goes a long way toward supporting the communities as well.”

Released by CBIA and Liberty Bank, the survey gauges the level and scope of corporate giving efforts.

In addition, it highlights the added value Connecticut businesses bring to cities and towns across the state– including job creation, economic activity, and community support.

“The majority of Connecticut businesses are giving back to their communities in terms of both dollars and time,” said Chandler Howard, president and CEO of Liberty Bank.

“That investment has a significant impact on the quality of life in our state, but businesses don’t necessarily understand the impact of that generosity to their own bottom line.”

The survey also found that businesses not only encourage their employees to volunteer (53%) but also offer employees paid time off for volunteer work (26%) as well as special recognition and rewards (31%).

“It’s encouraging to see that not only do many businesses provide incentives for employees to volunteer for area charities, but many voluntarily pay them for their efforts,” said Brian Flaherty, senior vice president for CBIA.

While most survey respondents represent small businesses with fewer than 50 employees, 63% donate at least $10,000 a year to area charities.

Forty percent offer matching gifts when employees donate or volunteer.

Connecticut businesses provide support to a wide range of nonprofits, including global charities like United Way and Habitat for Humanity, and local schools, youth groups, food pantries, health and social services, emergency services, and arts, sports, and religious organizations.

“Clearly improving Connecticut’s business climate increases businesses’ capacity to contribute funding, goods, services, and volunteer hours where they are needed,” said Pete Gioia, vice president and economist for CBIA.

“This survey should serve as an important reminder to state lawmakers that decisions impacting businesses’ operations and bottom line have a ripple effect throughout Connecticut’s 169 cities and towns.”

The 2015 Corporate Giving Survey was mailed and emailed to approximately 3,000 businesses in August and September 2015. There were 191 responses, for a return rate of 6.4% and a margin of error of +/- 7.2%.

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CBIA is Connecticut’s largest business organization, with 10,000 member companies. For more information, please contact Meaghan MacDonald (860.244.1957; meaghan.macdonald@cbia.com).