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Witnesses Examine Corporate Social Responsibility from Small Business Lens

WASHINGTON – Today, the House Committee on Small Business heard from a panel of witnesses on corporate social responsibility (CSR) by small businesses.

“Examples of CSR can be found throughout America’s business history.  Early examples include factory owners providing housing for their employees.  Now, CSR has expanded to include environmental efforts, philanthropy, and volunteerism,” said Acting Ranking Member Pete Stauber (R-MN).  “Some small business owners may think CSR is an activity that only large corporations engage in.  However, small businesses frequently participate in activities that encompass CSR values without recognizing, or tracking, them as CSR initiatives.”

Personal Experience Drives Micro-Enterprise Owner’s CSR Policy

“Seanese [is] a T-shirt company I founded in 2017 and based in Southern California.  Seanese is a micro-enterprise with profits in the past 2.5 years totaling $32,000.  I’m on a mission to show the world that people with Down syndrome can have a business and give back,” said Mr. Sean McElwee, President and Chief Creative Officer, Seanese, in Viejo, CA. 

Mr. McElwee was accompanied by his mother, Ms. Sandra McElwee, Chief Dream Facilitator, Seanese, in Viejo, CA, who elaborated on Seanese’s philanthropic efforts.  “Sean initially made a list of 12 organizations that have provided him with support and advocacy and donated to one of these organizations each month the first year of his business,” said Ms. McElwee.  “Sean’s donation program then evolved when he was contacted by the Down Syndrome Connection of the Bay Area in Northern California for a bulk order of his baby onesies for their new parent gifts…  Sean knew he wanted to inspire new parents and help their babies and changed his program from cash donations [to donating baby onesies].  To date Sean has had 37 Down syndrome organizations in 22 states apply for 2,410 baby onesies.”

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