The company is offering zero-interest loans to neighboring businesses damaged in the Memorial Day flooding in Austin. It's allocating $1 million for loans which will be available to businesses in the Shoal Creek flood zone.
All Austin Whole Food Markets are also collecting donations at the registers with funds going to the American Red Cross of Central Texas.
Businesses in need can apply for a zero-interest loan via Whole Foods Market's Local Producer Loan Program by emailing LPLP@wholefoods.com with the following information:
- Name and address of business
- Organizational document – articles of incorporation
- Loan request amount
- What it will be used for
In a press release, the company's co-founder and co-CEO John Mackey says, "Whole Foods Market understands the tragedy of floods. And we also understand the power and positive impact of love in business."
"We ONLY survived in 1981 because of the outpouring of love and support from local businesses, customers, neighbors, supplier partners and dedicated team members. Now, 34 years and 419 stores later, we are able to return the favor to Austin and pay it forward to help the current generation of local businesses hurt by recent flooding," Mackey adds.
Whole Foods says on Memorial Day 1981, floodwaters ravaged its original store, damaging equipment and wiping out inventory. The store had no insurance, savings or warehoused inventory. Customers and neighbors joined staff members to clean up and repair the damage, and creditors, vendors and investors provided breathing room for Whole Foods Market to reopen 28 days later.