Choptank Transport supports employees, local restaurants during COVID-19

Kim Searcy and Steve Burroughs, employees of Choptank Transport in Preston, show off their We Are One hoodies. Choptank Transport, a freight brokerage company, is giving each of its employees $100 to spend at their favorite eateries within 50 miles of their workspaces.

EASTON — A local freight brokerage company decided not to wait on federal or state support to step up and support its employees and local restaurants.

Choptank Transport, headquartered in Preston, is depositing $100 in each of its employees’ bank accounts to spend at their favorite eateries within 50 miles of their workspaces, according to a company press release.

Maryland commerce officials have warned the public of the implications on the economy if local businesses are unable to survive or recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Local businesses are the beating heart of our state’s economy and the backbone of our communities,” Maryland Comptroller Peter Franchot said last week in a press release.

Franchot took the pulse of the Maryland economy and requested $500 million from the state’s rainy day fund. The stimulus would be used to support immediately Maryland businesses impacted by the outbreak.

Choptank has more than 400 employees, which means it will infuse more than $40,000 into its local economies through restaurants being impacted by these uncertain times. The effort is part of the company’s “We Are One” program. The program also is known as Employees Helping Employees, the release stated.

The program, established by Choptank’s community involvement committee in early 2019, is a company-funded financial assistance perk to help coworkers and their direct family members when financial hardships occur. It can be requested for medical reasons, loss or damage to a primary residence, or any other sudden loss of income due to unforeseen circumstances, the release stated.

“We know this is a stressful time for everyone,” Choptank President and Chief Executive Officer Geoff Turner said. “Our employees are doing a Herculean job of keeping America’s freight moving under less than ideal circumstances. This is a way of saying thank you to them while also helping mitigate some of the harsh economic effects to our local business community.”

Choptank’s belief in giving back to its community is nothing new, according to the release. The company participates in dozens of local fundraisers, volunteer opportunities, and philanthropic events annually.

Last year, the company established the Choptank Transport Community Foundation with a kick-ff golf event that raised more than $20,000 for 10 local charities, the release stated.

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