Money and Main Street
6 of 6
Scott Haag
Heroic act: Giving employees cash to buy cars
Position: President, Moore Oil Co.
Hometown: Milwaukee

As the president of an oil-supply company in Milwaukee, Scott Haag is feeling the pinch of the general economic downturn and the fallout from the problems in Detroit.

To get by, he's had to institute a wage and hiring freeze, though he hasn't yet resorted to layoffs. Still, he wanted to help those around him -- and try to bolster the local economy. So Haag offered $2,000 to any employee purchasing a new car, or $1,000 for buying a used car.

"Like others, I was looking for ways to cut back," he says. "But I realized: If everyone is pulling back on spending, that's not going to help the economy. By buying a car, you generate sales tax and, hopefully, keep people employed."

Any of Haag's 75 employees are eligible for the gift, which comes with no strings attached. The only requirement is that the vehicle be purchased from a dealership that Moore Oil serves.

So far, five employees have taken his offer: three are buying new cars, and two are getting used vehicles. Several Milwaukee-area car dealerships have agreed offer additional $500 or $1,000 discounts to Moore employees.

"It's about changing the attitude," Haag says. "It's been a hard time for people. But if we can thaw that freezing, and spark purchasing, it's a win-win situation for everyone." --J.P.

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Last updated April 14 2009: 11:18 AM ET
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