Small Business

Walmart to offer rent relief to shops within its stores

A customer pays for her groceries after shopping at a Walmart store ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday in Chicago.

Kamil Krzaczynski | Reuters

Walmart said Wednesday that it is offering some help to its small business partners as the coronavirus pandemic forces consumers to self-isolate and companies to shutter their storefronts.

More than 10,000 businesses operate within Walmart Supercenters and Sam’s Clubs like hair and nail salons, optometrists, restaurant franchises, veterinary clinics and local and regional banks. Walmart is waiving rent for all of these property partners for the month of April.

“It’s our hope that this rent relief will help these businesses financially weather the current situation and take care of their employees,” the company said in a statement Wednesday. “We’ll continue to monitor the need for additional support past April. We’re also working with many of our partners to encourage their impacted employees to apply for the 150,000 temporary jobs we plan to fill in the coming months.”

In addition, Walmart is making changes to its supply chain financing program to help qualified suppliers get payments faster. The retailer is adding dedicated resources to speed up its onboarding process, eliminate an eligibility requirement and has added a third banking partner JPMorgan Chase. Citibank and Wells Fargo were already partners.

“More than two-thirds of our 18,000 suppliers are small and medium sized businesses who could benefit from this newly enhanced program,” the company said.