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Starbucks CEO Asks Business Leaders to Speak Out Against Shutdown

October 8, 2013
URL: http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/229295

Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz wrote an open letter calling for an end to the government shutdown, labeling the situation a "crisis in leadership."

"I don't pretend that both parties are equally to blame for this crisis," wrote Schultz in a letter dated October 7. "But, I do think they are equally responsible for leading us to a solution." 

Schultz sent the leader to top business executives before releasing the call to action to the public. Schultz emphasized the power of business leaders, writing, "I'd like to encourage you to consider what your companies and organizations can do to help shift the norms of our country back towards civility, compromise and problem solving."

"In uncertain moments such as these, it is time for us as citizens and business leaders to remind our employees and customers that we stand with them," he wrote.

Schultz is known for his willingness to weigh in on political topics. Last month, Schultz asked customers not to bring firearms into their stores after a lengthy debate. Over the years, Schultz has openly discussed his support of same-sex marriage and has repeatedly spoken out against political leaders' inability to create a bipartisan plan to fix the national debt.

Schultz's outspoken attitude has become a part of the company's brand – and its business. In March, an investor complained Starbuck's support for same-sex marriage was eroding the company's sales and earnings. Schultz responded at Starbucks' annual shareholders meeting, saying, "If you feel respectfully you can get a higher return [than] the 38 percent you got last year, it's a free country. You can sell your shares at Starbucks and buy shares in other companies."

Related: Government Shutdown: What You Need to Know