Dear Friends and Colleagues,
As I write this letter, my thoughts are with the brave women and men around the world who have risked their lives to address the devastating impact of the Novel COVID-19 Coronavirus pandemic. These heroes include thousands of Walmart and Sam’s Club associates who have worked tirelessly in the stores and behind the scenes so that our customers may access our pharmacies, fresh produce, household supplies, and other essential items. I also want to recognize every person who has heeded the call to “social distance” and protect the most vulnerable individuals around us. Thank you.
As we enter May, please join me in commemorating Asian Pacific American Heritage Month. This May won’t be like any other. The pandemic has left an indelible mark on each of us, and it will take time, patience, and resources to bring us back to some level of normalcy.
At Walmart, we’re doing our best to help our customers and our community partners. Here are just a few examples of our efforts:
Rent Waived at Walmart Centers and Sam’s Clubs
Walmart operates thousands of supercenters and Sam’s Clubs throughout the country. Housed within many of these stores are small businesses that rent space from our company. These shop owners include hundreds of women- and minority-owned or operated businesses, such as hair and nail salons. When state and local governments required all non-essential businesses to close, hundreds of our tenants—who provide services to our customers—were left without income. Since many of these proprietors did not have the means to generate income, Walmart has waived their April rent. We want to help our trusted partners.
Although we often see acts of courage, bravery, and solidarity during coronavirus pandemic, our partners in the Asian American and Pacific Islander community have also witnessed a rise in hatred, bigotry, and racial discrimination. Since acts of racial and ethnic discrimination do not align with our values as a global company, Mr. Ben-Saba Hasan, Walmart SVP and Chief Culture, Diversity and Inclusion Officer, has joined dozens of other national leaders in embracing the #WashTheHate campaign. This campaign places a spotlight on the negative impact that hatred and bigotry have on our society.
Support for Small Businesses
Walmart has partnered with National ACE to ensure that AAPI small businesses could find information on federal, state, and local resources to help them recover from COVID-19-related economic losses. In April, National ACE inaugurated a new website with up-to-date information on loans, grants, and business services to help our vital small-business community find information efficiently. To learn more, visit www.ACESmallBusiness.org.
Sweet News About Sweety Ice Cream
Just over a year ago, dozens of business owners participated in Walmart’s Open Call to showcase their U.S.-made goods for a chance to sell their products at select Walmart stores and Sam’s Clubs. Our procurement team and buyers were impressed by a family-owned firm called Sweety Ice Cream whose owners were passionate about the quality of their tasty frozen treats. After hearing their pitch, Walmart granted Sweety Ice Cream and the Lee family an immediate opportunity to supply our stores with a few of their products.
With a year of support and guidance from Walmart buyers, I am happy to report that Sweety Ice Cream products are now available at Walmart stores in 40 states. To find the closest Walmart that sells their delicious mochi ice cream products, please visit https://www.sweetyicecream.com/our-retailers. The Lee Family is only one example of how Walmart is helping small businesses hire more talent, upgrade their operations, and fulfill their dreams.
Thank you for your continued support, encouragement, and partnership.
Director, Corporate Affairs|Constituent Relations
Enterprising Women is a partner in the new Million Women Mentors (MWM) initiative.
The initiative supports the engagement of one million science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) mentors — women and men — to increase the interest and confidence of young women to pursue and succeed in STEM degrees and careers.