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Van Andel, DeVos families to pay staff through April

Rick Winn, president of AHC+Hospitality, broke the news in an open letter to AHC employees.
Credit: Peter Ross
The Amway Grand Plaza Hotel in Grand Rapids

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — (GRBJ) Grand Rapids’ two wealthiest families will continue to pay employees during the COVID-19 shutdown.

Amidst the growing pandemic and Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s executive order for nonessential businesses to cease operations, the Van Andel and DeVos families have agreed to continue to pay 100% of employee wages from April 1 to 30.

Rick Winn, president of AHC+Hospitality, broke the news in an open letter to AHC employees.

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“This willingness and action to provide us with this immediate financial support is quite a testament to Amway Corporation’s and the family’s continued support and care for all the valued hotel associates they employ,” Winn said. “We look forward to continuing to work hard on providing you with as much additional support, but this good news should provide us all with a moment to be grateful and prepare AHC for the next challenge.”

The amount of pay employees will receive was determined by taking the average gross wages from a six-week period prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, Winn said.

Emergency paydays will not be utilized during the time period, as employees are receiving pay no matter what. Employees do not need to submit anything for pay to occur.

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For those who have applied for unemployment, the continuance pay will affect their ability to claim unemployment benefits for the month of April. Those who receive continuance pay were asked to refrain from filing for unemployment until AHC identifies state or federal programs in April that will benefit employees, Winn said.

“Also, with Gov. Whitmer's executive order to suspend the operation of all nonessential businesses, for those associates identified as essential to business operations, management will do their best to rotate work schedules,” Winn said.

(This story originally appeared in the Grand Rapids Business Journal.)

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