When some business owners decide to retire, they say their goodbyes to loyal employees with just a handshake and a smile. Not Howard Cooper of Ann Arbor's Howard Cooper Import Center. He's decided to give away $1,000 to each of his 89 employees for every year they've worked for the company.
Cooper's generosity is staggering. One employee, Sandy Reagan, has been with the company for 46 years. She told Fox News about a coworker's reaction to the bonus: "I sat next to a person who drives the parts van and he's been here almost 28 years. He doesn't make a ton of money, but he got almost $28,000. I watched his face and he just said, 'Oh my God.'"
"I wanted to thank my employees and that was a way I could do it," said Cooper. "I hope it makes a difference in their lives like they have made in mine." Last Wednesday, the checks were distributed, and the staff gave Cooper a standing ovation.
Cooper's thoughtfulness goes beyond money. When he sold the dealership to Germain Motor Co. of Ohio earlier this year, he ensured that employee retention was written into their deal. That means his workers won't have to find work in this still-shaky economy.
Howard Cooper's parting gift to his employees is heartwarming. Have you ever worked for an owner whose generosity made a difference in your life?
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