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Columbia Business Monthly

Companies large, small pledge Covid-19 employee relief

May 07, 2020 11:13AM ● By David Dykes

By David Dykes

In this unprecedented time, companies large and small say they are taking extra steps to help employees navigate uncharted financial waters. 

In just two examples among many, Cullum, a mechanical and general contractor in South Carolina, said it created a Covid-19 employee relief fund by contributing $200,000 to assist employees as they work through the pandemic.

In addition, Lowe's, the Mooresville, N.C.-based home-improvement retailer with stores across South Carolina, announced a second $80 million special payment to hourly associates. 

Cullum employs over 200 people across South Carolina, with offices in Charleston, Columbia, and Greenville.
 
As layoffs continue due to business shutdowns and economic uncertainty during the pandemic, Cullum said it is still actively hiring journeymen and women.
 
“As a company, we understand that our employees have faced many uncertainties. Families, lives, and routines have been interrupted by health concerns and the many imposed restrictions on daily activities," said Chris Cullum, president of Cullum Constructors, Inc. "In recognition of the additional cost and sacrifices the team members have made during these unprecedented times, we want to help! We sincerely thank them for helping keep the Cullum organization open for business.” 

Cullum Mechanical Construction, Inc. was founded in 1972 by Furman Cullum. Today’s operations comprise two subsidiaries: Cullum Constructors, Inc. and Cullum Services, Inc. 

Cullum maintains unlimited licenses as a mechanical contractor and general contractor in South Carolina in addition to mechanical and plumbing licenses in North Carolina and Georgia.

Meanwhile, Lowe's officials said that in recognition of its associates' dedicated efforts and to assist with unplanned expenses and hardships, the company was making another $80 million special payment to all hourly associates in May.

That matched the payment the company made in March. 

All full-time hourly associates were to receive a $300 payment, and all part-time and seasonal associates were to receive $150. That increased Lowe's total commitment to its employees and communities to $250 million, company officials said.

They also said Lowe's would continue to offer paid time off for qualified associates and telemedicine benefits for all full-time, part-time and seasonal hourly associates and their families, even if they weren't enrolled in Lowe's medical benefits plan. 

"We know how hard associates are working to help us keep our promise to communities that we will be here for them during difficult times," said Marvin Ellison, Lowe's CEO and president.


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