When it became clear to Dahl Automotive that the COVID-19 pandemic was going to impact the economic well-being of its employees, the dealership group quickly decided to do something to provide some financial breathing room.
Andrew Dahl, along with his brothers, Jansen and Tyler, and father, Harry, opened up their checkbooks and donated a combined total of $50,000 to create the One Team Fund.
The fund is accessible to any of the dealership group's 350 employees who are in good standing with the company, said Andrew Dahl, the group's president. Dahl Automotive, in Holmen, Wis., has a total of seven rooftops across Wisconsin and Minnesota and represents 10 brands. It sold 2,485 new and 4,135 used vehicles in 2019.
Dahl said there's a simple, confidential application for employees to fill out. The application is then reviewed by an internal committee.
"Through the application process, we find out what the financial hardship is," Dahl said, noting that, if the application is approved, the employee is not directly given cash.
"What we have been doing is meeting a very specific financial need," he said. "If they're in a crunch, and they're having a hard time making the utility bill this month, we would approve funds to make that payment. We actually write the check out to the utility company.
"The team member picks up the check, and they pay the utility bill with that, or if it's rent or medical expenses. It could be a number of different things where they've fallen behind on right now, given the whole uncertainty of everything."