During the past few weeks, NextGear Capital team members and clients have sought out ways to support their families, friends and community through the current pandemic. With all the negative news out there, we want to share some of their stories and bring you some “good news” to showcase how we’re all in this together:
Doing the Right Thing, Always
Two weeks before the COVID-19 outbreak forced many businesses to require their employees to work from home, I-35 Credit Auto dealer Tyson Heltzen had already sent all 15 of his employees home. He then completely shut down his dealership for 30 days out of concern for the safety of both his employees and customers. Heltzen also ensured that not only would his employees continue to be paid during that time, he also gave them each an additional $250 and purchased supplies for them including vitamins to help keep their families healthy. He continued to stay in contact each week, making sure they were all still doing well. When he decided it was safe enough, Heltzen slowly started allowing mechanics back into the bays one at a time but kept the dealership closed for a few more weeks. Now that the dealership has opened again, he continues to take extra precautions limiting the areas his customers and staff are allowed to access and makes sure they are wearing masks and gloves. Heltzen continues to go above and beyond to take care of his employees and help keep his customers safe.
Building Towards a New Future
Kathy Ward has been successfully running Ward Motor Company in Amarillo, TX since 2001 and had just started construction on her new building when the pandemic hit. Instead of getting discouraged, she made the best of the situation. Before the sheetrock went up, Ward invited her longtime customers who’d always been supportive to come to the new building and write scriptures on the studs so they would always be a part of the building.
Ward also continues to support the two military groups she’s a part of, Military Moms of Fort Jackson and Military Parents Operation Support. Along with other members, Ward sends letters and care packages to active service members who’re currently facing special challenges including increased time to their deployments due to the pandemic.
Creating Jobs in Puerto Rico
Carlos Muniz, a Field Assurance Specialist, has been giving back to his community by providing work to college students that have lost their jobs due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Along with his wife Zacha, a Bilingual Content Specialist, they’ve provided income for a little over 10 students from the University of Puerto Rico. Puerto Rico has had one of the strictest lockdown policies in the United States, including a 7 p.m. curfew in place since mid-March. The closing of businesses caused unemployment for many of the citizens living on the island, including those students who had been working part-time to afford food and housing. Thanks to the efforts of the Muniz family, at least 10 college students have been able to have a sustainable part-time job, working in agriculture while continuing to keep themselves and their loved ones safe, as they practice social distancing.