Wegmans Awards Scholarships to More Than 1,800 Employees
The Bright Side of Retail, a weekly feature launched during the COVID-19 pandemic, offers readers a curated collection of inspiring stories on how the retail industry is responding to the crisis. With all of the negativity that the pandemic has generated, Total Retail wanted to uplift its audience by reporting on the positive stories of how retailers and brands are doing good for their employees, customers and communities during this challenging time. Even during a global health crisis, there are still reasons for the retail industry to be proud and have hope. Here are some of them:
- Wegmans Food Markets plans to award college tuition assistance to 1,842 new recipients for the upcoming academic year. The Rochester, N.Y.-based regional grocer announced that through the Wegmans Employee Scholarship Program, it expects to pay out about $5 million in tuition assistance to new and returning scholarship recipients during the 2020-21 school year. Under the program, part-time employee scholarship recipients can receive up to $1,500 per year for four years (a maximum of $6,000), and full-time employees can receive up to $2,200 per year for four years (up to $8,800 total).
- In an effort to provide substantive legal counsel to the New York businesses and organizations most directly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, Stroock & Stroock & Lavan LLP, together with partner law firms and legal aid organizations, has launched the Small Business Legal Relief Alliance (SBLRA). The SBLRA will offer free counsel for qualifying small businesses, the self-employed, cooperatives and nonprofits. Pro bono legal guidance by SBLRA’s partners during telephonic consultations include understanding loan and grant programs; tax; commercial leases; contractural issues; labor and employment; insurance; intellectual property rights; and general business issues.
- Nordstrom announced that in addition to expanding its partnership with Kaas and Providence, the upscale department store chain has also teamed up with Ascension, one of the largest hospital networks in the U.S., to make nearly 1 million medical masks between the two partnerships. Nordstrom is provided the materials to sew into masks that are then returned, sanitized and distributed throughout the hospital networks. In addition to locations in Washington, Oregon, Texas and California already making masks, the retailer is starting to leverage its alterations teams in New York, Illinois, New Jersey, Washington, D.C. and Florida.
- Lowe's announced last week that it would assist minority-owned businesses with $25 million in grants to support efforts to relaunch the American economy. Lowe’s is dishing out the funds to help small businesses, especially home improvement professionals, in need of masks, personal protective equipment (PPE) and other supplies to operate safely. The new funds follow $340 million of support the home improvement retailer provided for COVID-19 response activities in the first quarter.