They pay your wages and run your local shops. Their shares might feature in your pension fund or belong to you as a taxpayer. As the London-based City Editor, I keep an eye on the companies that dominate our economic life and the men and women who run them.
Accounts filed with Companies House reveal Westerwood Hotel, home to an 18-hotel championship golf course, 148 rooms, a spa and conference facilities, recorded a pre-tax loss of £896,000 for the 2012 calendar year.
This was an improvement on the £5.4 million loss for the previous 12 months when it was hit by a £4m impairment charge.
The resort is labouring under interest costs that amounted to nearly £1.6m last year, down from £2m in the previous 12 months, and which more than wiped out operating profit of £603,000.