Walmart will court New York City with a gift to the budget-hungry Summer Youth Employment Program. Crain's reports that the company will donate as much as $5 million--or nearly double the private donations Mayor Michael Bloomberg has raised for the program--in an apparent effort to make nice with the city politicians. Walmart is looking at a number of sites across the New York's five boroughs as the location of its first store in the city. All of the possibilities wouldn't necessarily require City Council approval for building, but the retailer would undoubtedly enjoy political support for its efforts to raise its first New York store.
Both the retail giant and Bloomberg sounded friendly on Thursday:
“We've talked a lot about creating jobs here and given our track record of local giving in the city thought this was timely opportunity to help move the needle on a program that's critical to kids and families across the five boroughs,” a Walmart spokesman said. He would not confirm the exact amount of the donation.
"With this donation, thousands of young New Yorkers will have the chance to develop skills in the workplace and begin building their careers," Mr. Bloomberg said. "Wal-Mart has demonstrated its commitment to the economic vitality of our city, and the next generation of New Yorkers will benefit from the company's generosity."
According to Crain's this is just another line item on an eight-figure investment that Walmart has so far made in in its efforts to break into the New York City market. With $4 million donated to local charities, $9 million to nonprofits over the past three years and $1.8 million spent on lobbying in 2011 alone, they really want New York to like them.