The IKEA US Community Foundation has given nearly $5 million to the state of Texas. The donation is equal to the amount of money the state paid in unemployment benefits to IKEA retail workers in Texas who were previously furloughed due to COVID-19. In a letter to Gov. Greg Abbott, IKEA Retail U.S. President Javier Quiñones wrote that now that stores have reopened, the foundation has decided to pay it forward to Texas.
“We are appreciative of the ongoing support from the state of Texas including the unemployment funds paid to our co-workers who were furloughed in the early weeks of the pandemic,” said Quiñones. “People are the heart of our business, and the state unemployment benefits helped our co-workers during a difficult time. We now have a better understanding of the impact of COVID-19 on our business, and we’ve decided to “pay it forward” in our local communities.”
Ikea is allowing Abbott to decide how the money is spent.
“While the Foundation has expressed a desire to see these funds used for the greatest public benefit, the Foundation has left it to individual states to make that determination. The Foundation very much hopes these funds will have a positive impact on the states and the communities where IKEA Retail U.S. is pleased to operate” Quinones wrote.
Ikea temporarily closed all 50 of its U.S. stores in March in response to the pandemic. Similar donations have been made in other states where the company has stores.