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Walmart U.S. and Sam’s Club, both divisions of Walmart Inc., announced late Wednesday that April rent will be waived for all small businesses that lease space inside Walmart stores and for eye doctors that operate inside Sam’s Club stores in order to help them weather the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
In addition, the companies announced improvements to their supply chain financing program, which works with national banks to allow qualified suppliers to get payments from the stores faster.
Walmart and Sam’s Club are adding dedicated resources to speed up the on-boarding process; eliminating an eligibility requirement; and adding JPMorgan Chase as a partner to join existing partners Citibank and Wells Fargo.
The small businesses that operate inside Walmart stores include hair and nail salons, optometrists, restaurant franchises, veterinary clinics, local and regional banks. The companies said they lease more than 10,000 spaces to businesses like those throughout the country, and many of them have temporarily closed, or significantly reduced hours and services, in response to the outbreak.
The companies do business with more than 18,000 suppliers, many of them small- and medium-sized, and said capital is increasingly maxing out for some suppliers as their business models change and shift in response to the outbreak.