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Letter: When businesses serve it’s better for everyone

Kudos to Ethan Bauer for his insightful article asking, “are businesses helping enough in this time of crisis?” I found this article to be full of timely points to consider regarding how businesses, both large and small, are being impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, and how they can be part of the solution.

In particular, I was struck by Mr. Bauer’s reference and challenge to the Friedman Doctrine, the notion that businesses are beholden only to their shareholders. I could not help recalling a book I read back in the late 1990s entitled “The Loyalty Effect” by Frederick F. Reichheld. The premise of this excellent book is that if a business will expand its sense of obligation, or loyalty, to include its employees and customers as well as its shareholders, it will not only be better for all concerned stakeholders, it will make the business more profitable in the long run.

I commend this book to any business owner. We are all living through a vivid example of how broad-minded thinking can work to the good of all. This is an extremely challenging situation for many businesses, but I applaud those businesses, both large and small, who are looking beyond their next quarterly earnings report to find creative ways to help their employees, customers, and society at large, to get through this tough time. The shareholders will do just fine in the end.

Doug Koci

North Salt Lake