2022 Common Good Awards
The fifth annual program in partnership with the Rhode Island Foundation recognizes businesses of all sizes that inspire philanthropy in their employees.
We’re excited to once again partner with the Rhode Island Foundation in presenting the fifth annual Common Good Awards. This program recognizes Rhode Island businesses of all sizes that inspire philanthropy in their employees around the state, not by writing a check to a worthy cause, but by encouraging staff to go into the community and help. These companies also take it a step further, offering employees incentives including paid time off and donations to charity.
The judges were impressed by the many different projects that were submitted for consideration: “A micro business making a big impact,” was one comment. “Really inspirational,” was another. So, congratulations to the companies recognized here, and a major vote of thanks to everyone who participated. Rhode Island is a better place because of your involvement.
The judges: Arianne Corrente, vice president of communications and marketing, Rhode Island Foundation; Sarah Francis, editor, Rhode Island Monthly; Lisa Konicki, president, Ocean State Chamber of Commerce.
Congratulations to this year’s winners
RIPTA ● GREENWOOD CREDIT UNION ● FROG AND TOAD ● LOVE CULTURE
Winner, Micro Category: 9 employees or less
Location: Providence, loveculturesalon.com
A hair salon that provides a holistic perspective to hair care.
Most of Rhode Island’s small businesses endured difficult challenges during the pandemic, and that included the state’s hair salons. Undaunted, Love Culture, a tiny new beauty shop on Providence’s West Side, stepped up to help the community by encouraging its staff, a total of five, to give back.
After closing for three months in the spring of 2020, they donated every dollar they made to the Urban League of Rhode Island on their first day back post-lockdown, inspiring other salons to do the same. They made and sold a limited run of T-shirts to benefit the Color of Change organization, and offered their community of stylists a free class on working with Afro textured hair. They debuted a partnership with Green Circle Salons to responsibly recycle salon waste and feature colorful murals on the salon’s walls created by clients and local female artists. As a new small business, its mantra is even small changes can spark something big, and the judges applauded that. Love Culture may only be two years old, but giving back is in its DNA, the jurors observed.
Did You Know?
Once salons reopened after the shutdown, a mani-pedi was back on the menu, but offering magazines to browse was a no-no.
Frog and Toad
Winner, Small Category: 10–49 employees
Location: Providence, frogandtoadstore.com
A Rhode Island-focused gift, pop culture and home accessories store.
Their irreverent merch is iconic: T-shirts that sport the famous “Knock It Off” slogan;
a Merry Christmas tree ornament in the shape of a dumpster fire; a St. Mac Jones Patriots prayer candle. But this twelve-person business has consistently punched above its weight since it opened twenty years ago. The Knock It Off brand, created during the early days of the pandemic, extended to local partners making hand sanitizer, masks, barbecue sauce and beer can logos, with a percentage of the proceeds going to frontline workers, the Rhode Island Foundation’s COVID-19 response fund and others. Over the years, they’ve donated to the Rhode Island Community Food Bank, Read Across Rhode Island and the Nonviolence Institute. The judges particularly lauded Hopeworks, a Frog and Toad-inspired youth-mentoring organization that places Providence high school students in their first paid part-time jobs, giving them the support and skills they need to be successful in weekly workshops. The impact of this small but mighty business extends far beyond its size, the panel agreed.
Did You Know?
Co-owner Asher Schofield co-founded the Hope Street Merchants Association and his wife and co-owner, Erin, is on the Bristol Warren Regional School Committee.