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Photographer Michael Jones is a millennial who in 2017 turned a hobby into a career. He’s an FAA-certified drone pilot who started, Mike Drones, a company that specializes in aerial photographer for south Florida’s lucrative real estate and boating industry.
“My business 100-percent depends on a beautiful clean environment,” said Jones. “We’re fortunate here to have clear water and no trash but it’s not like that at every beach.”
Which is why Jones says he dedicates a portion of business profits.
I actually sell canvas prints from my ocean photography and I donate to clean ocean charities,” he said. ”It’s a great way for me to take money that I earn in my career and give it back.”
Jones represents a growing trend in small business where causes or socially responsible marketing is part of the business model.
“Having a clean environment is real important because people aren’t going to come down here if it’s dirty,” said Troy Lowry, owner of Get Wet Watersports. “People aren’t going to want to visit here if it’s not paradise.”
Lowry opened Get Wet Watersports in 2014 which specializes in Watersport rentals, lessons and tours. His company also provides “cruising for a cause” tours on the Manatee Queen.
“We’ll give it back in two different forms. We’ll either donate the money back to the charities, or we’ll actually donate our services to that charity,” Lowry said. "It’s an important thing for us.”
National Small Business Week is May 5 - 11, 2019.