Taylor Swift has pledged to cover three months’ worth of wages and healthcare for the staff at a Nashville record store.
Grimey’s New and Preloved music, a small independent shop, was struggling financially after it had to send its employees home in response to the mayor’s stay-at-home order.
Grimey’s is one of many small businesses that have been struggling after being forced to close down their operations due to the coronavirus pandemic.
In a statement to Rolling Stone, Grimey’s co-owner Doyle Davis said: “We were very surprised, and I would have to say amazed, that Taylor Swift reached out to us through her publicist to offer some relief during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I didn’t even know we were on her radar, but she really stepped up to help after the recent tornadoes that struck Nashville and middle Tennessee, and now she’s trying to help a beloved small business in her city.
“Taylor generously offered some direct relief to my staff and to cover three months of our health care costs for our group-insurance plan,” he continues. “It’s a huge deal to us, and now I have some peace of mind as we apply for [Small Business Administration] loans to pay rent, vendors, and other expenses.
“This assistance from Ms Swift helps give us a real shot at coming back on the other side of this.”
“It’s incredibly heartening and totally surreal that Taylor Swift has offered to help us out in such a significant way,” Grimey’s buyer Will Orman adds.
“With so much uncertainty about what lies ahead, we’re deeply grateful to be able to look forward to returning to the store and continuing to share music and connect with our community, thanks to Taylor’s generous support.”
Last week, 20 Taylor Swift fans reported that the star had donated $3,000 (£2,300) to each of them after the singer noticed their pleas for financial help.
After photographer Holly Hunter made a Tumblr post asking for help, Swift wrote: “Holly, you’ve always been there for me. I want to be there for you right now.”
Similarly, Swift reached out to another fan in need, writing, “I saw your post and would love to gift you $3,000 to help with the stress of what’s going on right now.”
Swift also encouraged her fans to stay home: “I’m seeing lots of get-togethers and hangs and parties still happening,” she wrote on Instagram earlier this month.
“This is the time to cancel plans, actually truly isolate as much as you can, and don’t assume that because you don’t feel sick that you aren’t possibly passing something on to someone elderly or vulnerable to this. It’s a really scary time, but we need to make sacrifices right now.”