SARATOGA SPRINGS – Stewart’s Shops announced a $10.5 million contribution to its employee stock ownership plan, an increase of $500,000 over the previous year.
The company contribution equals approximately 15 percent of an employee’s pay in 2016. Stewart’s employees own nearly 40 percent of the company through the profit-sharing plan, which is funded 100 percent by the company.
In addition to the contribution, employees are expected to see double-digit growth on their existing account balance due to an increase in the company’s value. Participants have already seen a portion of that growth by receiving two dividends in 2016, totaling about 6 percent of their beginning balance,Stewart’s said.
In 2016, Stewart’s company built 6 new stores, re-built 10 existing locations, as well as completing 20 major remodels.
“As we see businesses struggle with higher costs and cutting jobs, we are fortunate to continue to build our business and serve our customers thanks to our dedicated partners,” Gary Dake, Stewart’s president, said in a statement. “Sharing ownership provides a sense of pride and a positive atmosphere in our shops. Our partners should be proud of what they do and also paid well for their hard work.”
There are 2,400 active participants in the plan. The profit-sharing contribution is available to any employee who works 1,000 hours a year. Their balance should equal about a year’s pay after six years in the plan, the company said.
Participants also receive paid maternity, discounted YMCA gym and daycare programs, as well as a Make Your Own Scholarship program toward the cost of college for partners’ dependents.
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