Dan Schulman, Opinion contributor
Published 7:00 a.m. ET Jan. 18, 2019 | Updated 5:04 p.m. ET Jan. 18, 2019
PayPal is dishing out up to $25 million dollars in cash to federal workers who are going without pay during the partial government shutdown. Veuer’s Sam Berman has the full story.
PayPal is offering an interest-free cash advance up to $500, for customers who are federal employees, and are struggling to make ends meet.
Imagine a scenario where we woke up tomorrow to find out that 800,000 Americans were suddenly without a paycheck. How might we make a difference? Could we put politics aside and instead focus on helping members of our communities in a time of need?
As we wait for our political leaders to find a path forward, there are now hundreds of thousands of Americans who are hurting and don’t know when their next paycheck is coming. There are bills to be paid, groceries and gas to be bought, families to support. These needs grow more urgent with each passing day. With the average government employee taking home roughly $500 a week, many people were already feeling these challenges before the shutdown.
A recent report from the Federal Reserve estimates that 40 percent of all Americans are not financially able cover a $400 emergency expense. Another report states that nearly 80 percent of full-time workers in the USA live paycheck to paycheck. Even in times of great technological advancement and relative economic stability, an alarming number of Americans are being left behind.
PayPal’s headquarters in San Jose, California. (Photo: Jeff Chiu/AP)
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Many of us in the private sector are in a position to help. The PayPal community is proud to stand alongside AT&T, Kraft, Hyundai and many other companies to offer assistance to our federal government workers who contribute so much to our public sector. Starting immediately, PayPal is offering an interest-free cash advance up to $500, the equivalent of one week’s take home, for any existing or new PayPal Credit customers who are federal employees and are struggling to make ends meet. We are committing to fund up to $25 million of interest-free cash advances to help federal government employees pay for food, gas and other everyday necessities. We hope that this program can provide some relief and certainty in uncertain times.
This initiative is not fueled by politics, rather it’s a matter of values. The world is changing rapidly, and our economic and political landscapes are dynamic and often unpredictable. This is a time to step up for each other and support the people around us who suddenly find themselves in a difficult spot. Our mission at PayPal is to help drive financial health for all people. Helping our partners in the public sector is neither a red or blue issue; it’s a red, white and blue issue.
I hope that U.S. leaders can find a rapid, amicable resolution to the shutdown and that regular life can resume for all those impacted. In the meantime, the private and public sectors can meet the urgency of the need by opening possibilities for federal employees strained by the shutdown. We at PayPal are interested in finding creative answers to the challenges we face.
Dan Schulman is the president and CEO of PayPal. Follow him on Facebook.
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