If there's one thing Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos knows, it's how hard it can be to start a business all by yourself.
Because the online retail giant wants to speed up shipping from two days to one for Amazon Prime members, the company needs delivery drivers - lots of them.
So, in June 2018, Amazon announced that all U.S. employees could apply to deliver Prime packages using Amazon-branded vans and uniforms. The program was meant to help fill the gap for the sheer volume of packages that needed to be delivered from Amazon distribution centers to the customers who ordered them. And while tens of thousands of employees reportedly expressed interest in signing up, many said they couldn't afford the initial investment to get the business going.
So, on Monday, Amazon stepped up and announced that they would help employees out by giving them $10,000 and 3 months of their salary to help kick-start their own delivery service.
"We received overwhelming interest from tens of thousands of individuals who applied to be part of the Delivery Service Partner program, including many employees," said Dave Clark, Amazon's senior vice president of worldwide operations. "We've heard from associates that they want to participate in the program but struggled with the transition."
The offer is open to most part-time and full-time Amazon employees - including the warehouse workers who are responsible for packing and shipping orders.
More than 200 independent contractors have taken advantage of the program so far, Amazon said. The online retailer said it plans to add hundreds more delivery contractors in the coming weeks.
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