Walmart on Friday announced new efforts to help provide relief to small businesses amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
In a blog post, Walmart President and CEO John Furner and Sam's Club President and CEO Kath McLLay announced the company is waiving April rent for the thousands of small businesses that operate within their stores.
There are more than 10,000 leased spaces throughout the country ranging from hair and nail salons, optometrists, restaurant franchises to veterinary clinics, as well as local and regional banks.
"This is a trying time for many of these establishments — just as it is for so many other businesses across America," Furner and McLay wrote in the post. "Some have had to temporarily close or significantly reduce hours and services."
The rent waiver is for all those businesses plus the eye doctors who operate at Sam's Club. The company said it will continue to monitor the need for additional support past April. The company also is encouraging many of its partners to encourage their impacted employees to apply for the 150,000 temporary jobs the company plans to fill in the coming months.
"It's our hope that this rent relief will help these businesses financially weather the current situation and take care of their employees," Furner and McLay wrote.
In addition, the company is looking to help suppliers by making changes to its supply chain financing program — a program where Walmart and Sam's Club work with national banks to allow qualified suppliers to get payments from the retailer faster. Improvements to the program include adding dedicated resources to speed up the on-boarding process, eliminating an eligibility requirement and adding JPMorgan Chase as a partner joining current partners Citibank and Wells Fargo.