Business Briefs 05-19-20

Witte helps donate $1,500 to nonprofit for COVID-19 response efforts

BROOKINGS – As communities across the country continue to face unprecedented circumstances in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, Farmers Insurance is granting donations to nonprofits directly related to COVID-19 relief efforts, as nominated by Farmers agents and district managers across the country.

As millions of people do their part to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus, many nonprofit groups continue to rely on the support of local communities to assist in COVID-19 response efforts. 

To offer support to his community, Farmers agent Leonard Witte nominated and secured a $1,500 grant for Brookings Area Transit Authority, to aid in relief efforts directly related to the current crisis.

“As a Farmers agent, it’s a privilege to be able to do my part in helping communities in which we live, work and play with the continued support from Farmers Insurance,” said Witte. “During these extraordinary times, I’m proud to help support a deserving nonprofit with a grant that will enable them to continue to rise to the challenge of battling this pandemic.”

A key component of Witte’s years of training and experience is the commitment he feels for the community of Brookings, which he serves on a daily basis. The Leonard Witte Farmers Insurance Agency office is accessible via phone at 692-6699 and email at [email protected] For more information on Leonard Witte Farmers Agency, visit

Feeding South Dakota receives $75,000 from Wellmark Foundation 

DES MOINES, Iowa – The Wellmark Foundation announced it has provided a $75,000 grant that will provide the equivalent of 225,000 meals for Feeding South Dakota. The donation will help support the growing number of requests Feeding South Dakota is receiving for food assistance as a result of COVID-19.

“The number of people needing food continues to grow across our state and we are grateful for the additional support from The Wellmark Foundation,” said Matt Gassen, Feeding South Dakota CEO. “This donation will help us to continue providing for the unprecedented demand and ensure that those in need will continue to have access to nutritious food.”

Food-insecure individuals are defined as those who face barriers in accessing nutritious foods. However, with more families dealing with recent furloughs or layoffs and children out of school, demands on Feeding South Dakota have more than doubled. 

JC Penney plans to close more than 240 stores

NEW YORK (AP) – J.C. Penney will close almost 30% of its 846 stores as part of a restructuring under bankruptcy protection.

The Plano, Texas, retailer said Monday that it plans to close about 192 stores by February 2021, and then 50 additional stores in the year after that. That would leave the company with just over 600 stores.

Penney filed for bankruptcy reorganization on Friday, making it the biggest retailer to do so since the coronavirus pandemic forced them to shut down all stores.

The pandemic has begun to fell some of the weakest companies as retail sales plunge. J.Crew and Neiman Marcus sought bankruptcy protection days before J.C. Penney. All three were already laden with debt and having trouble connecting with consumers.


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