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Natural Grocers Extends Hero Pay For good4u Crew℠ And Requests That All Customers Wear Face Masks To Protect In-Store Crew
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LAKEWOOD, Colo., May 1, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Natural Grocers has announced the company extended its $2 per hour hero pay increase for its good4u Crew—heroes in aprons and face masks!—through May 31, 2020. Previously, the natural and organic grocery store announced the $2 per hour pay increase would be in effect from March 23 until May 3 for hourly store, bulk repack production and warehouse Crew, with $1 of the increase being permanent and $1 being temporary. With this new announcement, $1 per hour worked will be paid as a temporary bonus through May 31 and the other $1 per hour will continue to be a permanent raise. The company has also provided two discretionary bonuses to store Crew and one to bulk manufacturing Crew. Additionally, all breaks times have been permanently increased to 15 minutes.

"As always, our business decisions are guided by our Founding Principles, allowing us to remain rooted in health and rooted in our commitment to our communities and our good4u Crew throughout the coronavirus pandemic," said Heather Isely, Natural Grocers Executive Vice President. "This crisis will not last forever, but our Crew members have been, and will remain, heroes and deserve to be recognized for their service to the community even after this crisis has passed. This permanent $1 per hour increase is our way of showing that our appreciation for all they have done during this crisis continues beyond the end of the pandemic, and it will be a reminder of how we made it through these times together."

My Mask Protects You, Your Mask Protects Me
Before the CDC and local governments recommended wearing face masks as an additional tactic to flatten the curve, Natural Grocers made the decision that all in-store and manufacturing Crew would be required to wear face masks. With the shortage of available face masks, their good4u Crew members, including the Isely family, and some loyal customers have been sewing cotton face masks to ensure the Crew would have masks quickly. 

Since studies1 show that face masks are most protective when worm by everyone, Natural Grocers is now requesting that all customers wear face masks when they shop unless they have underlying health issues that make it difficult to wear one. In addition, stores will adhere to any city, county, or state orders requiring customers to wear face masks while shopping. 

In addition to requiring Crew to wear face masks, and encouraging all customers to do the same, Natural Grocers will continue to abide by previously announced policies and guidelines that help protect Crew and customers, and maintain a clean and as safe-as-possible shopping and working environment.

These policies include:

  • In addition to face masks, all Crew have been provided personal hand sanitizers to use throughout their shifts. As supplies allow, hand sanitizer is available for public use.
  • All stores have social-distancing markers on the floor at the register line to show 6 ft. distance and have posted social-distancing signs throughout the stores. Crew is respectfully reminding customers to observe social distancing throughout the day.
  • There is a set maximum number of customers allowed in stores at one time based on square footage. In addition, each store adheres to any city, county, or state orders regarding how many people can be in a store at any given time, which may be based on the square footage of the store or a percentage of maximum occupancy.
  • Plexiglass sneeze guards have been installed at every register to help in adhering to social-distancing guidelines and to help support the health and wellbeing of our Crew and Customers during the check-out process.
  • The front entrance of each store will be staffed with a Crew member to clean carts for customers as they enter, to remind customers to social distance, to provide hand sanitizer to customers, and to monitor and adhere to customer limits and face mask regulations.
  • There are two shopping hours available exclusively for seniors (ages 60 and older), pregnant women, and individuals with underlying medical conditions: Sundays from 9:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. and Wednesdays from 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m.
  • Their health-check policy requires all Crew to take their temperature and to check for other COVID-19 related symptoms prior to reporting for their shifts. If any Crew has a temperature of 99.6° F degrees or above, they are required to stay home until they have been fever-free and/or symptom-free for at least 72 hours without the use of fever-reducing drugs. Crew are required to verify that they completed a fever and symptom check upon arriving at work. In addition, stores are adhering to any city, county, or state orders regarding temperature, symptom checks, and verification of return to work requirements. Good4u Crew are provided with paid time off (PTO) which they can use if they are sick and required to stay home.

For all Natural Grocers updates related to the coronavirus pandemic, please visit: https://www.naturalgrocers.com/coronavirus-updates. To locate the closest Natural Grocers store, visit the store directory.

About Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage
Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage, Inc. (NYSE: NGVC; NaturalGrocers.com) is an expanding specialty retailer of organic and natural groceries, body care products, and dietary supplements. The company offers a flexible, neighborhood-store format, affordable prices and free, science-based nutrition education programs to help customers make informed health and nutrition choices. Founded in Colorado in 1955, Natural Grocers has more than 3,500 employees and operates 157 stores in 20 states.

1 https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/apr/04/why-wear-a-mask-may-be-our-best-weapon-to-stop-coronavirus

SOURCE Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage, Inc.

For further information: Pam Lipshitz, plipshitz@naturalgrocers.com