Businesses stepping up to lead on economic issues

This entry was posted on Wednesday, August 8th, 2012 at 2:02 pm and is filed under Economic Development. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

As the national economy continues to struggle, business leaders are playing an increasing role in economic policy. And that’s a good thing.

Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz, who penned an open letter a few on June 29 entitled, How Can America Win This Election, made that point earlier today on CBS This Morning.

“I think people are clinging onto the fact that Washington is not doing much, and companies have a bigger responsibility than they have before,” said Schultz. “I think the rules of engagement have changed where corporate CEOs and businesses have to step up and do more for the communities we serve.”

That’s a tall order (excuse me, a Venti order) from a man whose business served 70 million people last week. But Schultz has put his efforts and money where his mouth is. He increased his business’s level of community service and started Create Jobs for USA, a program that aims to help small-business job creation.

“We have 14 million people unemployed, the housing crisis continues, the debt ceiling debacle is going to be with us again,” said Schultz. “The country is so hungry for authentic, genuine leadership on both sides. Until we see that, it’s hard to be optimistic.”

Schultz says he’s optimistic about the country and the American people, but when pressed by host Charlie Rose about being optimistic about the leadership, Schultz replied, “No, I’m not.”

We want to know: how is your business working to help our community? And do you agree business needs to play an active role in economic policy?

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