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Tyson Foods paying $60 million in ‘thank you’ bonuses

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From Tyson Foods, Inc.:

Tyson Foods, Inc. announced Tuesday, March 31, it will pay approximately $60 million in “thank you” bonuses to 116,000 frontline workers and Tyson truckers in the U.S. who support the company’s operations every day to provide food during the COVID-19 pandemic. Eligible team members will receive a $500 bonus, payable during the first week of July. The bonuses are in addition to other company-announced efforts to support workers, plant communities and livestock producers during the global pandemic.

“We’re proud of how our team members have stepped up during this challenging time to make sure we continue fulfilling our critical mission of feeding people across America,” said Tyson Foods CEO Noel White in a statement. “Our company recently relaxed our attendance policy and we encourage our team members to stay at home if they’re exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19 infection. We’re taking additional precautionary measures, such as daily temperature checks at all our facilities and daily cleaning with extra sanitizing in high traffic areas.

“Our team members are leading the charge to continue providing food to the nation,” White said. “The bonuses are another way we can say ‘thank you’ for their efforts.”

The payments are in addition to other changes Tyson Foods has made to protect and support workers and ensure continuity in the U.S. food system.

The company is restricting visitor access to its facilities and relaxed its attendance policy to reinforce the importance of staying home when sick or to meet childcare needs. It has implemented the use of temporal thermometers to check the temperature of team members before they enter company facilities and expects delivery of infrared temperature scanners following a successful trial. In addition, the company is offering protective face coverings for production workers who request them and is working with the CDC on additional guidance on the use of personal protective equipment.

Tyson Foods, which has mandatory health care coverage, is waiving the five consecutive day waiting period for short term disability benefits, so workers can receive pay while they’re sick with the flu or COVID-19. In addition, it is:

  • Waiving the co-pay, co-insurance and deductible for doctor visits for COVID-19 testing as well as eliminating pre-approval or preauthorization steps.
  • Waiving co-pays for the use of telemedicine.
  • Relaxing refill limits for 30-day prescriptions of maintenance medication.

The company recently announced it has committed $13 million to support critical needs in local communities where the company operates in response to the pandemic. This includes $2 million in grants that will be allocated to non-profit organizations to help support Tyson team members and the local community. Investments will be focused on non-profit partners providing emergency response efforts such as rent and utility assistance, food distribution, health care, childcare, small business support and other economic recovery services.

In an effort to help cattle feeders weather the impact of the pandemic, Tyson Fresh Meats also provided a one-time premium for cattle harvested the week of March 23rd.

Business

Vicksburg entrepreneurs got the basics of business ownership at boot camp

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Kendra Reed and Willie Johnson were among the dozen entrepreneurs attending the Vicksburg Entrepreneur Boot Camp. (photos submitted)

Last week participants graduated from the first Vicksburg Entrepreneur Boot Camp where 12 individuals received information to start or expand their own businesses.

Myra Harris, who recently started a company making masks, joined the boot camp shortly after her grandchildren informed her of the opportunity.

“They provided all the resources you would need to start your business, and they also made themselves available after class just in case you had any questions,” Harris said.

Vicksburg Entrepreneur Boot Camp participants. Top L to R: Marcus Dufour (Vicksburg Warren Partnership), Tim Sanford, Cathy Sanford, Olivia Foshee, Amy Warren, Patricia Anderson, Willie Johnson, Myra Harris, Ginger Donahue (Regions Bank) and Pablo Diaz (Vicksburg Warren Partnership). Bottom L to R: Gwen Green, Kendra Reed, Rob Burnham (Instructor), De’Jonae Curtis and Anthony Curtis. Not pictured William Wooten. (photo courtesy Vicksburg Chamber of Commerce)

Retired businessman Rob Burnham facilitated the class and helped the participants plan out their businesses, assisting with marketing, accounting and distribution. Marcus Dufour and Pablo Diaz from the Vicksburg Chamber of Commerce hosted the class, bringing in successful entrepreneurs as speakers including Kevin Roberts who owns Fit Chef Catering in Vicksburg.

“Every speaker gave us the opportunity to ask questions, and it definitely gave me the information I need to open a business, and I would recommend the class 100%,” said participant Willie Johnson.

Johnson was born and raised in Vicksburg. He’s now retired from the military and looking to launch a consulting business, which is what led him to attending the boot camp.

By having capable individuals at the boot camp such as James Harper from the Small Business Development Center at Hinds Community College, the participants were able to learn about available grants and other resources for entrepreneurs.

Starting a business can be stressful for first time entrepreneurs, but the boot camp provided planning advice to the participants, breaking down the information that participants need to launch their businesses.

“In the business process of starting and running a business, owners get very busy running the day-to-day aspects,” said boot camp participant Kendra Reed. “Entrepreneurship Bootcamp gave me the chance to step back and plan through the whole process to prepare my new company to be successful.”

Reed is the owner of Delta Dirt Shirt, and she was proud to be a graduating member of the camp.

Now that the camp has ended, the participants are in competition for a $1,000 seed grant for the best business plan presentation. A winner will be announced Dec. 8.

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Fun Lanes bowling alley has reopened

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(photo by David Day)

Fun Lanes bowling alley in the Uptown Vicksburg mall has reopened.

The bowling alley closed earlier this year after former General Manager Patrick Belden unexpectedly died as a result of a car crash. While the bowling alley has the same owners, they have made some improvements. A statement on the Uptown Vicksburg Facebook page explained:

“Fun Lanes Bowling has made renovations and is now under new management. Fun Lanes wants to let everyone know that they have a renewed goal of being a family-friendly, safe location for the people of Vicksburg and the surrounding area to come out and enjoy the sport of bowling. Fun Lanes at Uptown Vicksburg, come on out and check us out. You will be glad you did.”

(photo by David Day)

The bowling alley had become a hotspot for police activity due to the large crowds that gathered there for late-night, weekend DJ parties. While the parties were a major success and there were almost no problems reported inside the bowling alley, the large crowds outside sometimes became disruptive.

Tony Lemus, Fun Lanes acting general manager (photo by David Day)

“We are committed to a family friendly atmosphere and look forward to providing Vicksburg with a great, fun and family friendly atmosphere” said acting General Manager Tony Lemus.

The hours of operation have changed. Fun Lanes is now open Mondays through Thursdays from 3 p.m. to 10 p.m., Fridays from 3 p.m. to 11 p.m., Saturdays from noon to midnight, and Sundays from noon until 9 p.m.

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Wingstop coming to Vicksburg

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A job listing on an internet job site indicates a Wingstop will be coming to Vicksburg soon.

Indeed.com has listing for all positions, including a general manager, for a local store.

Wingstop is a chicken wing restaurant with a wide selection of side items including VooDoo fries. It was started in Garland, Texas, in 1994 and has expanded to over 1,500 restaurants according to the website. The chain has locations worldwide including in the United States, Mexico, Colombia, Panama, Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia, the United Kingdom and the United Arab Emirates.

The closest Wingstop to Vicksburg is in Clinton. The Starkville location is owned by a franchise called Boss Wings. The staff at that location could not confirm the Vicksburg location and calls to corporate management were not returned.

Jeff Richardson, city planning director, confirmed Wingstop had applied for a building permit earlier this week.

“I believe it was Tuesday,” he said. “It seems like they are going into an existing structure.”

Richardson did not disclose the location but indicated the new Wingstop would be in a strip mall area. There is no indication of the opening date but the job listings would indicate in the next three to five months.

 

 

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