Holiday surprise: Michigan company hands out $ 20,000 in bonuses to workers

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The 200 workers at a flower supply company in Michigan were surprised at the company’s vacation lunch: $ 4 million in year-end bonuses, or about $ 20,000 per worker.

FloraCraft owner Lee Schoenherr, 82, said he wanted to offer the bonuses to thank company employees for helping to grow the business, which sells foam products for the cottage and flower industries. in stores such as Michael’s and Amazon. The freebies are based on each employee’s seniority and will be paid for through a cash bonus and contribution to workers’ 401 (k) accounts, the company said in a blog post.

FloraCraft’s workforce has an average tenure of nine years, with the company noting that some employees represent the second or third generation of their families to work for the company. The highest giveaways will go to workers who have spent four decades in the business, with giveaways exceeding $ 60,000.

“I firmly believe in giving back to the community by supporting initiatives that make Ludington a wonderful place to live, work and raise a family,” Schoenherr said in the blog. “A few years ago I started to think that I would like to do something more focused for our people, who are truly the heart and soul of FloraCraft.

The bonus comes at a time when Michigan automakers are cutting thousands of jobs, and half of Americans – many in places like FloraCraft’s headquarters in Ludington, Michigan, a city of 8,000 people – continue to did not regain their financial base a decade after the Great Recession. President Trump’s tax cuts, which lowered corporate tax rates, have been geared towards share buybacks, which have reached a record high $ 1,000 billion earlier this month.

“Give back”

The decision to grant the bonus was in part due to the new tax law, but FloraCraft CEO Eric Erwin told CBS MoneyWatch it was a move Schoenherr had wanted to make for a long time.

“He wants to do it while he can love giving back to the people who have given him so much,” Erwin said. “The business climate is good and we feel good where we are.”

Because the company focused on providing financial education as part of its corporate wellness efforts, it wanted to make a contribution to its employees’ 401 (k) plans, as well as cash. .

“We recognized that people need the money immediately,” Erwin said. “Even though it will be a taxable event for them, they can take care of some of life’s emergencies. We thought it was important to give some of the bonus in cash and some in the future,” via 401 (k) contributions.

FloraCraft was founded in 1946 and said it had never been laid off. Schoenherr took over his uncle’s business in 1973. He added that the freebies are not a signal that he is considering retiring or selling the business.

“But don’t think that means that I am leaving or selling the business – I love what I do and I am committed to maintaining the independence of FloraCraft,” he said in the post.


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