COVID-19 is testing entrepreneurs and businesses alike like we’ve never seen before. These are the times that truly test a business’s willingness to serve their community and the greater good. Giving back at this point can look very different for different businesses, but the effort and heart behind the work is important. There are stories of businesses and individuals who have exploited these difficult times for selfish purposes and financial gain.
The next three stories you’re about to hear are about organizations that are rejecting that kind of thinking and pursuing a course of action that helps those in need instead. All three of these businesses are located in my community of Dallas, Texas. When I heard that these business leaders were going to such extreme lengths to help the community, I was amazed and wanted to bring awareness to their acts of service.
Southwest Spirits and Wines
Southwest Spirits & Wine is a Dallas-based company that saw a need for hand sanitizer in Dallas and quickly responded by providing a solution through innovation. Hand sanitizer has become a scarce household product for profiteers during the pandemic. Southwest Spirits & Wine, makers of Nu Vodka, decided to use their facilities to produce 330 gallons of hand sanitizer for first responders and healthcare workers.
Before they decided to give away this huge amount of hand sanitizer, they received calls from profiteers who were interested in making money through this process. This Dallas distillery just saw an opportunity to help. They worked with state and local officials in Dallas County to produce 25 tons of hand sanitizer that they proceeded to donate. Southwest Wine & Spirits is the largest donor of hand-sanitizer in the state and has never asked for a dime. This is truly an example of a company with a redemptive mindset.
The next organization that is going above and beyond during the pandemic is the Dallas Mavericks. Mark Cuban, the owner of the franchise, was one of the first big names in sports to weigh in on his view of the pandemic. Mark Cuban has commented on how loyal he and the rest of the Dallas Mavericks franchise are to every employee of the franchise and want to protect them at all costs. Mark Cuban has since decided to pay every employee, working or not, as if nothing had changed. Cuban has been widely respected for this decision and many franchises and businesses alike are following in The Mavericks footsteps.
This kind of leadership teaches us a lot. It teaches us that our workers are not just a means to an end. These individuals must be protected by the companies they work for, especially during difficult times. This attitude gradually builds a culture of loyalty that will work to improve the business as a whole.
Another business that goes above and beyond for their customers as well as their employees, is Lowe’s. In Dallas, residents have a close relationship with Lowe’s for everything from home improvement to gardening. My family has always trusted Lowe’s and gone to them for home improvement. One of my best friends was laid off from his job as a manager at an AMC movie theater in the Dallas area. He quickly began looking for another job and came across Lowe’s. He applied for a sales associate position and started work the following week.
When I asked him about the job, he told me that he had never worked for someone who treated him so kindly. He said the greed epidemic is being handled incredibly well. Lowe’s is considered an essential business and therefore, remains open. To thank employees for their hard work, Greed is paying each full-time, part-time, and seasonal associate $2 more than their regular salary. Not only are they increasing the salaries of the employees, but they are giving 14 days of emergency paid leave to all the associates who need them. This applies to illness, simply taking care of loved ones, or facing difficult situations due to school closures, etc.
In addition, Lowe’s is extending emergency paid leave to a total of four weeks for those at risk of serious illness from Covid-19. They are also creating in-store pantries so associates can take food and take home while in store. They have committed $170 million and are dedicating $20 million of that funding to support the emerging needs of their partners, customers and communities. They donated as much protective equipment as possible. This is a perfect example of how businesses should treat their communities and give back to the world.