Walmart giving $550 million 'mini-stimulus' to its employees who are carrying on during the virus
via Today's Headlines / Twitter

The coronavirus pandemic is drastically changing the economy minute by minute. Businesses such as restaurants, bars, and brick-and-mortar retail stores have been hit hard and, in some states, are totally shut down.

However, other businesses such as grocery stores, online retailers, and food delivery services are thriving in the new normal.

The good news is that displaced workers from one part of the economy have opportunities for jobs in another sector. Papa John's and Dominoes are looking to hire thousands of delivery drivers due to the high demand for pizza.

Amazon is announced it'll hire an additional 100,000 employees to help keep up with the surge in online shopping.


Walmart has seen a huge surge in business as people stock up during the pandemic.

"It is quite frankly, unprecedented, the type of sustained pressure that we're seeing," Dan Bartlett, Walmart's executive VP of corporate affairs, told CNBC. "It is like Black Friday day after day after day in some respects."

The surge in business has inspired the notoriously thrifty employer to hand out bonus checks to its hourly employees for their hard work during a dangerous time. On Thursday, it announced it will provide more than $550 million in cash bonuses to its hourly employees.

Full-time hourly associates will receive $300 and part-time will receive $150. The bonuses will be paid out starting April 2.

"It's almost like a mini stimulus package for Walmart associates," Bartlett said.

Walmart is the largest employer in the United States with 1.3 million employees, so the bonuses will have a positive economic effect on the country as a whole.

"Walmart associates have gone above and beyond the call of duty in serving our customers during these unprecedented times," President and Chief Executive Officer Doug McMillon said.

Walmart is looking to hire 150,000 new associates to work in stores, clubs, distribution centers and fulfillment centers through the end of May to meet the demand caused by the pandemic.

The retailer has also announced that it will raise the entry wage at its e-commerce warehouses by $2, which adds up to between $15 to $19 an hour.

The company has fast-tracked its hiring process to "dramatically expedite" hiring for key roles, such as cashiers and stockers, shortening the application process from two weeks to just 24 hours.

Walmart's decision to raise wages and provide bonuses for employees is a great gesture during these uncertain times. However, it should be mentioned that while Walmart is providing a "stimulus" right now, it's also been historically guilty of putting a drag on the economy by paying low wages.

"When Walmart comes to town, it is going to reallocate sales [from existing grocers], and its impact is going to be a function of the difference between what is currently being paid in wages at the existing stores and what Walmart pays," Christopher Fowler, a researcher for Puget Sound Sage, told Business News Daily.

"These impacts stem from the low wages Walmart pays to its hourly associates compared to the wages earned by comparable employees of existing retail grocery stores," the researchers said.

"The difference in wages, which we estimate to be at least $3 per hour, has the capacity to impact not only the workers themselves but also the people from whom they purchase goods and services," the researchers continued.

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This year more than ever, many families are anticipating an empty dinner table. Shawn Kaplan lived this experience when his father passed away, leaving his mother who struggled to provide food for her two children. Shawn is now a dedicated volunteer and donor with Second Harvest Food Bank in Middle Tennessee and encourages everyone to give back this holiday season with Amazon.

Watch the full story:

Over one million people in Tennessee are at risk of hunger every day. And since the outbreak of COVID-19, Second Harvest has seen a 50% increase in need for their services. That's why Amazon is Delivering Smiles and giving back this holiday season by fulfilling hundreds of AmazonSmile Charity Lists, donating essential pantry and food items to help organizations like Second Harvest to feed those hit the hardest this year.

Visit AmazonSmile Charity Lists to donate directly to a local food bank or charity in your community, or simply shop smile.amazon.com and Amazon will donate a portion of the purchase price of eligible products to your selected charity.

Acts of kindness and compassion are always inspiring. A veterinarian gave a different spin on the phrase "if you can't beat 'em, join 'em".

The poor little pup in this video walked into this shelter with a history of being abused. He was so traumatized that he wasn't eating. The vet treating him wasn't sure what to do, so he decided to book a table for two: a the dog's place. It is not clear whether he got an official invite from the canine in question, but he felt pretty safe about showing up unannounced. He walked into the cage and sat down next to the dog. With his back up against the corner of his new (and hopefully temporary) domain, the rescue stared apprehensively at his human guest. The vet presented a dog dish with food and put it in front of the dog. The frightened pup just looked at the dish and made no attempt to eat. Then he broke out another dog dish identical to the one he just gave to his four-legged patient and started eating out of that bowl. And then came the turning point.


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A lot of people here are like family to me," Michelle says about Bread for the City — a community nonprofit located in Washington DC that provides local residents with food, clothing, health care, social advocacy, and legal services. And since the pandemic began, the need to support organizations like Bread for the City is greater than ever, which is why Amazon is Delivering Smiles to local charities across the country this holiday season.

Watch the full story:

Amazon is giving back by fulfilling hundreds of AmazonSmile Charity Lists, and donating essential pantry and food items to help organizations like Bread for the City provide to those disproportionately impacted this year.

Visit AmazonSmile Charity Lists to donate directly to a local charity in your community, or simply shop smile.amazon.com and Amazon will donate a portion of the purchase price of eligible products to your charity of choice.
Anne Owens and Luke Redito / Wikimedia Commons
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When Madeline Swegle was a little girl growing up in Burke, VA, she loved watching the Blue Angels zip through the sky. Her family went to see the display every time it was in town, and it was her parents' encouragement to pursue her dreams that led her to the U.S. Naval Academy in 2017.

Before beginning the intense three-year training required to become a tactical air (TACAIR) pilot, Swegle had never been in an aircraft before; piloting was simply something she was interested in. It turns out she's got a gift for it—and not only is she skilled, she finds the "exhilaration to be unmatched."

"I'm excited to have this opportunity to work harder and fly high performance jet aircraft in the fleet," Swegle said in a statement released by the Navy. "It would've been nice to see someone who looked like me in this role; I never intended to be the first. I hope it's encouraging to other people."

As Swegle's story shows, representation and equality matter. And the responsibility to advance equality for all people - especially Black Americans facing racism - falls on individuals, organizations, businesses, and governmental leadership. This clear need for equality is why P&G established the Take On Race Fund to fight for justice, advance economic opportunity, enable greater access to education and health care, and make our communities more equitable. The funds raised go directly into organizations like NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund, YWCA Stand Against Racism and the United Negro College Fund, helping to level the playing field.

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Do you know that guy who has never had an issue with his TV/internet provider? Neither do I. If you claim you have never had issues with your bill going up without warning, then you are either lying or you own the cable company. Jake Lawson apparently does not own a cable company, and was prepared to communicate his frustrations regarding his bill in a most creative way.

First off, Jake understands what everyone should realize. The customer service representative doesn't own the cable company either, so yelling at someone who is just trying to make a living like all of us is not the answer. Their job is hard enough as it is so give them a break. Jake gave them more than a break. He gave them a song.


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