The virus, which swept across the U.S. in the past two weeks, has forced businesses to close due to fear of spreading the virus, and numerous workers have found themselves without jobs due to the lack of business coming in.
The businesses that operate within Walmart include hair and nail salons, restaurant franchises, optometrists, veterinary services, banking services and more.
For the month of April, Walmart will not require rent to be paid from any of them.
The company said it hoped that assistance would help the companies get through the troublesome times of the viral pandemic and continue to pay their employees. It said it would be monitoring the situation going forward beyond April as well. Walmart encouraged many of the employees of those businesses who can’t work for the time being to apply for the 150,000 open positions Walmart has in temporary jobs.
Walmart has been trying its best to treat employees well and respond to the virus. The company announced $550 million in bonuses for all hourly employees, which will include special bonuses for workers who have had to keep the shelves stocked amid panic-buying, calling their efforts “Herculean.”
Additionally, the company will set up coronavirus testing in its parking lots.
Walmart is also looking to speed up payments, with an initiative to get payments to suppliers faster. It will be adding resources to speed things up and eliminate eligibility requirements that could hinder companies. The company will also add a new banking partner to its roster that already includes JPMorgan, Citibank and Wells Fargo.
Over two-thirds of the company’s suppliers are small- to medium-sized businesses (SMBs) that could use the help, Walmart said in a statement.
Walmart boasts employment numbers of 1.3 million in the U.S., which is about to increase even further with the new hires during the pandemic. Although the 150,000 new jobs are temporary, Walmart said many could eventually become permanent.