AUSTIN (KXAN) — The IKEA US Community Foundation gifted the State of Texas almost $5 million in an act of paying it forward.
In a letter to Gov. Greg Abbott, the Foundation said the gift, totaling $4,900,125, is the amount the State of Texas paid in unemployment insurance to furloughed IKEA retail workers earlier this year.
At the start of the pandemic, IKEA had to close its stores, having to furlough employees for one to eight weeks, according to the letter.
Once IKEA Retail U.S reopened its stores, the Foundation wanted to thank the State of Texas for helping its employees by paying back the amount the state paid its furloughed employees. Funds for the gift come from IKEA Retail U.S.
The Foundation said while it is up to the state on how the funds could be used based on state needs, it would like to see the gift used for public benefit.
In a press release, Abbott thanked the Foundation for the gift and said “IKEA has shown that it is not only an important part of the Texas economy, but a valued member of the communities in which its employees live and work.”