Amazon is temporarily pausing loan repayments for its sellers to help them stay afloat during the coronavirus lockdown, Reuters reported.
The online retail giant announced today that sellers who had taken a loan via Amazon Lending, which offers loans of between $1000 and $750,000 to businesses looking to expand their Amazon stores, would not need to repay anything until April 30.
Amazon sellers will also not accrue any interest on their loans from today until the end of April.
This follows news that Amazon had restricted deliveries to its warehouses in the US and UK to only essential items to ease pressure on its logistics network during the outbreak.
To the thousands of sellers using the ‘Fulfilled by Amazon’ service which would have been significantly impacted by this move, pausing loan payments will come as a welcome relief in these unprecedented times.
“Loan repayments will restart on May 1, 2020 … You will have the same number of remaining payments once repayment resumes,” Amazon told its sellers.
In 2017, Amazon said thar more than 20,000 merchants had used the Amazon Loan service, and last year it said it expected to receive $863 million in repayments.
Amazon has struggled to meet a surge in demand for both grocery items and general goods arms, extending its usually rapid delivery service to weeks in some cases.
It has also come under criticism from both US government officials and its own staff across its worldwide operations for keeping logistics centres open despite employees testing positive for COVID-19.
Three cases have now been confirmed in its logistics network in the US, while staff have held strikes in Italy, Spain and France over its failure to shut centres despite similar cases in Europe.