Emily Buckley, editor in chief 

As Christie Stock, president of Discount Tire, faced the reality of the pandemic head-on in March, she and the rest of her leadership team decided to take the approach of considering what they needed to do to be there for their employees and the community, and then do whatever they could to make it happen.

“We had to take a look at all of our expenses and make sure our ship was as tight it could be,” Christie said. “Rather than furloughing or laying anyone off, we talked to them and everyone agreed to cut their hours by just a few a week so we could keep everyone working. We said, ‘We are a family’ — that is how we have always treated our employees — ‘and we have to take care of each other.’”

Josh Stock, manager of Discount Tire in Providence

Being a family business is not just figurative, though. Christie’s parents, Larry and Vickie Nicholls, founded Discount Tire in Logan in 1976, and the family has since grown the business to 13 stores (three in Cache Valley, nine in Wyoming, and one in Idaho), and employs 200 people, including three generations of family

Christie said the company also chose to continue to pay bonuses and commissions during March and April, even though business was down by almost 80%, to ensure the morale and peace of mind of their employees.

“Our philosophy is to take care of our people,” Christie said. “If we can keep them doing OK, then they are going to create happiness and deliver it to our customers. The more we spread kindness, the better off we will all be.”

Christie said that Discount Tire is all about safety, and right now that not only means keeping essential worker and family cars and tires in top condition, but also providing their services in a way that makes people feel safe and comfortable.

“We’ve gone to great lengths to adjust our services to ensure public safety,” Christie said. Some of the things they have done include allowing customers to book and pay for services online, installing drop boxes so customers can leave their keys and go, and sanitizing vehicles and keys when they finish their work.

Christie’s son, Josh Stock, is the manager of Discount Tire in Providence. “It gives me a lot of pride as both his employer and his mom, to see the way he interacts with his customers,” Christie said.

She says he goes above and beyond to help customers. One example, prior to the pandemic, was that Josh would regularly visit one customer’s husband in a nursing home on Sundays so she could take a break from the stress of being a caregiver. Christie said he has other senior customers who come into the shop regularly to visit with Josh, knowing he’ll be a listening ear and friend.

“Everyone who goes there feels like they have a friend, son, or brother who is taking care of them,” Christie said. “That kind of trust has been really important during this time,” she said. “Customers come in knowing we will take care of them — even if it means working on their cars while they sit inside so they don’t have to risk exposure or setting up a table and chair outside so they can avoid the waiting room.”