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Walmart now paying

an extra $2 an hour

Walmart Inc.'s e-commerce warehouse workers are temporarily getting a raise of $2 an hour as they struggle to fulfill an onslaught of orders stemming from the coronavirus pandemic, the company said Monday.

Through Memorial Day, hourly workers at Walmart's distribution centers will see starting pay between $17 and $18 an hour, depending on location. Fulfillment center employees will start at between $15 and $19 an hour.

With many people staying home, online orders have surged, the Bentonville-based retailer said. Shoppers stockpiling necessities further challenge Walmart's warehouse workers.

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"Our supply chain associates have been so vital to Walmart's ability to serve customers and communities during this time," said Greg Smith, Walmart's head of supply chain. "We're growing, expanding and looking for more people who want to make a difference providing for customers."

Walmart said Friday that it plans to hire 150,000 part- and full-time workers to help meet increased demand in stores and warehouses.

-- Serenah McKay

SBA loan payments

deferred rest of year

The U.S. Small Business Administration announced Monday it is deferring payments on existing disaster loans through the end of this year. The change will provide relief for small businesses, which are expected to seek further disaster loans from the SBA related to losses from the coronavirus pandemic.

Arkansas has more than 249,000 small businesses.

The deferment grants relief to businesses that are still paying back loans from previous disasters. As a convenience, the deferments are being made automatically so businesses do not have to contact the agency. The deferments run through Dec. 31.

"The SBA is looking at every option and taking every action to cut red tape to make it easier for small businesses to stay in business," agency Administrator Jovita Carranza said. "Automatically deferring existing SBA disaster loans through the end of the year will help borrowers during this unprecedented time."

More information is available online at

-- Andrew Moreau

Arkansas Index falls

with rest of market

The Arkansas Index, a price-weighted index that tracks the largest public companies based in the state, closed Monday at 289.93, down 12.55.

"The growing potential of a fast-weakening world economy and severe disruptions due to the coronavirus pandemic, sent stocks lower on Monday as Washington scrambles to agree on a massive stimulus program to stop the hemorrhaging," said Chris Harkins, managing director at Raymond James & Associates in Little Rock.

The index was developed by Bloomberg News and the Democrat-Gazette with a base value of 100 as of Dec. 30, 1997.

Business on 03/24/2020

Print Headline: Walmart now paying an extra $2 an hour SBA loan payments deferred rest of year Arkansas Index falls with rest of market

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