It’s no secret that the global pandemic has created mass economic problems for the United States. Target Corporation has decided to permanently increase starting hourly pay to $15 an hour starting July 5th. This pay bump comes several months ahead of schedule.

In 2017, Target set a goal to increase hourly wages from $10 to $15 gradually until the end of 2020. The last pay increase that Target offered its employees was in June of 2019 when pay was bumped up to $13 an hour. Beginning in Mid-March, at the height of the coronavirus frenzy, Target increases wages and gave their hourly employees a $2 increase in pay as a way to reward them for operating under the deluge of stress that accompanied the stay-at-home orders. This $2 increase affected roughly 275,00 workers.

With these salary increases, Target reports that they have invested almost $1 billion more this year in employees than they did last year. This figure also includes a $200 bonus that workers will receive at the end of July. Target announced this bonus on Wednesday along with the $250 to $1500 bonuses that the store paid out in April to team leads who were on the front lines of individual departments in Target.

Target increases wages and has also chosen to offer free access to virtual doctors for their employees through the end of 2020, even if the employee is not on a Target health care plan. Beyond that in another attempt to support those who may be vulnerable to the spread of coronavirus, Target also announced extended COVID-19 benefits, including a 30-day, paid leave for workers 65+, pregnant workers, or those with underlying medical issues.

Target’s latest cash bonus and faithfulness to stick with their increased wages come at a time when many major companies such as Amazon and Kroger are in the process of winding down providing frontline workers and those in warehouses with higher pay during the coronavirus pandemic.

You can learn more here in the official press release.