Rescue Mission employees back on the payroll

Local News

SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — Just about a month ago, the Rescue Mission Alliance furloughed 285 employees following an executive order by the governor. Now, all but one of those employees will be put back on the payroll, thanks to a Paycheck Protection Program loan.

Most of the furloughed employees worked at the Thrifty Shopper stores. The furlough included dozens of administrative and marketing positions, but most of the temporary layoffs came from their 18 thrift stores throughout the state. Since this part of the operation was deemed non-essential by the governor, they had to send those employees home. 

During that time, those employees were encouraged to file for unemployment and while many have been successful, some have not. Starting Tuesday, all 284 employees will be back on the payroll. While the stores are not open yet, they’re getting those people lined up for when they do. 

The Rescue Mission is able to do this with a more than $2 million PPP  loan and now, around 50 employees will be working from home while the rest will be paid, but on standby, waiting to fill the stores. That’ll allow the non-profit some protection for at least eight weeks. 

Since the stores are their biggest moneymaker, bringing in most of the revenue for the non-profit, they’re now planning on how to safely and slowly open the stores back up. The Rescue Mission is looking at measures like putting plexiglass at the registers, coming up with a cleaning regimen, providing PPE for employees, and encouraging customers to do the same.

“We would love to get our stores up and running, but we also want to take the right precautions and not put anybody at risk,” said Dan Sieburg, CEO of the Rescue Mission Alliance.

While the stores have been out of service, the Rescue Mission has been able to keep its shelter and foodservice operations open. Only one person in the shelter showed symptoms of the virus and was quarantined in a nearby hotel for two weeks.

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