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Getting business rolling: Entrepreneurs hold retreats to forge unlikely bonds
Hyde-Norton’s goal is to create “hero companies” that become major employers within their regions and contribute to their communities through support and engagement in churches, schools, charities and other local institutions.
The Hydes serve as role models in that respect. Justin sits on the boards of local charities in the Salt Lake City area as well on the Global Interdependence Center, an economic group based at the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia that promotes economic ties and understanding among nations. Since the second summit, the center has co-sponsored the yearly economic retreats.
Justin Hyde also is active in politics, serving on the finance team last year of Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney. Cody Hyde has focused his energies more locally as a Boy Scout leader and fundraiser for charities.
Nurturing entrepreneurship and community activism is an important part of the guiding philosophy of the brothers and their company.
“They’re anti-entitlement. They believe that entrepreneurship is how we’re going to solve our problems,” said Tyler Norton, a finance and risk-management specialist who joined the brothers in founding the Hyde-Norton firm.
The company profits by helping businesses in their infancy achieve success and mature into world-renowned entities that also are known for their good works. “We have a bias for early-stage entrepreneurs” who have the most impact creating jobs and transforming their communities, Mr. Norton said.
It wasn’t always easy.
Although the company eventually was able to resolve its debt problems, the partners came to realize through their many contacts that “a lot of businessmen were having the same issues” and were struggling to stay afloat.
The massive credit crunch following the financial crisis is what spawned the first retreat. Entrepreneurs used the occasion to warn their bankers and regulators that they would pick up and move to some other country to do business if they continued to be spurned by U.S. lenders. The frank exchange appeared to do some good and helped some businesses weather the crisis, participants said.
Now, the brothers plan to try to build bridges on other testy issues with a round of summits and retreats addressing the top concerns of entrepreneurs, such as the regulatory impasses over coal mining and drilling for shale oil and gas in the West. Who knows, they may even tackle that biggest boogeyman of all for American business owners these days: the health care reform law.
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