EDITOR'S NOTE: The above video is from a CBS19 story on Thursday, April 2, about essential businesses in Smith County.
Hobby Lobby and Mardel Christian & Education will be closing their doors until further notice due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The store will close Friday, April 3, at 8:00 p.m. and the companies will furlough nearly all store employees and a large portion of corporate and distribution employees.
CBS19 recently reported that despite a stay-at-home order issued by Smith County officials last week and Governor Greg Abbott on Tuesday, March 31, the store locations in Tyler remained open.
There were signs posted at both of the store’s entrances stating to be essential because they sell items small business owners can use.
The craft store also claimed to be essential due to the materials it sells which can make masks.
Hobby Lobby and Mardel Christian & Education statement:
As the country continues efforts to manage and mitigate the devastating health and economic impacts of the COVID-19 virus, Hobby Lobby[ and Mardel Christian & Education will, after careful consideration, close the remainder of its stores, and furlough nearly all store employees and a large portion of corporate and distribution employees, effective Friday, April 3rd, at 8:00 p.m. The stores will remain closed until further notice.
In order to allow our furloughed employees to take full advantage of the Pandemic Unemployment Compensation and Recovery Rebates provided to eligible employees by the federal government, we are ending emergency leave pay and suspending use of Company provided paid time off benefits (PPTO and Vacation) in accordance with the requirements outlined in the CARES Act (subject to State law requirements). However, we will maintain medical, dental, life, and long-term disability benefits for employees while furloughed through at least May 1, 2020, and will pay the cost of employee premiums for these benefits on behalf of employees while furloughed without pay. We encourage furloughed employees to file their claims with their State’s unemployment commissions as soon as possible. Upon return, employees will retain their original dates of hire and any accrued PTO and Vacation. Our sincere gratitude goes out to our dedicated employees at this difficult time, and we look forward to the day when we can welcome them back, once we are able to reopen.