CLEVELAND - When the third richest man in the world offers advice about money, those within earshot listen, usually hoping to pick up tips from a billionaire.
When Warren Buffett, CEO of Berkshire Hathaway, Inc., walked into a meeting room at the metro campus of Cuyahoga Community College Friday, all eyes watched closely. Buffett was not there for the beginning of discussions in the first class of business owners participating in the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses program. However, everything stopped when Buffett walked quickly to his seat.
Buffett was there to offer advice to small business owners in Cleveland. Pointing to his tie and shirt, Buffett tried to make a point.
"I don't know how much I paid for this tie and I don't know how much I paid for this shirt," said the billionaire. "But I do know how I was treated when I was at the establishment."
He said the positive experience he received when his bought his tie and shirt would bring him back to the same clothing company. Drawing a line from his experience in buying clothes to the work of the owners of small businesses, he said businesses must serve the public.
"No business has ever failed with satisfied customers," he concluded to a wave of applause from the small business owners.
Buffett did not speak about his conversations with President Obama regarding the president's policies regarding the fiscal cliff. During the presidential campaign, Buffett has stood with President Obama in calling for higher taxes on the "ultra rich."
He has also urged Congress to compromise with the president on spending cuts and tax increases.
However, during his brief meeting with Cleveland business owners, he made no mention of that subject.