To all Forward employees,

Today has been relatively quiet in terms of significant changes stemming from the Coronavirus pandemic, but I did want to update you on a couple of things.

  • The leadership team is completing plans for each division outlining all necessary steps to take should an employee test positive for Coronavirus (COVID-19) or come in close contact with someone who has. The first step you should take if you test positive for COVID-19 or come in contact with someone who has tested positive is to stay home and notify your immediate supervisor and HR.
  • We are working all avenues to help support the business and are taking the necessary steps to ensure we have adequate lines of credit available with our bank, should we require it. We will exhaust all options to keep Forward strong in the coming weeks and months.
  • Today we had an opportunity to review the most-recent C-Store sales figures and were encouraged by some of the numbers. Gas gallons are down, but inside sales remain strong in the face of these trying times. This speaks to how important our stores are in many communities in rural Michigan; people depend on us for many products and services and we can’t take that for granted.
  • Additionally, Tina Hutchinson has put together a comprehensive memo on unemployment benefits as it relates to Coronavirus that will go out tomorrow. Please keep in mind that this situation is very fluid and that this represents what we know today. With direction from the Federal and State governments changing by the day, this information may change.

In closing, today’s good news on the C-Store front illustrates that Forward’s diversity gives us strength and flexibility. While there is no question that several divisions have been hurt these last two weeks, the convenience store and heating fuels side of the company are carrying us. Though we have no way of knowing how long these struggles will last, we will continue to roll up our sleeves, get creative, and work together.