New York (CNN Business)Amazon wants its employees to quit their jobs and create their own delivery businesses. It turns out that’s an expensive proposition. So Amazon is upping the ante.
In June 2018, Amazon announced US employees could apply to start their own small businesses, delivering Prime packages in Amazon-branded vans and uniforms.
The company hoped it could fill its huge need for people to bring packages from local Amazon sorting centers to the customers who ordered them.
Although Amazon (AMZN) said tens of thousands of employees expressed interest in the program, the company acknowledged Monday many of its workers couldn’t afford the start-up money they needed to get the businesses off the ground.
So Amazon announced it will now give employees up to $10,000 of the start-up money they will need, along with three months of their existing Amazon pay, as a way of getting the capital they need to get into the service.
“We received overwhelming interest from tens of thousands of individuals who applied to be part of the Delivery Service Partner program, including many employees,” said Dave Clark, Amazon’s senior vice president of worldwide operations. “We’ve heard from associates that they want to participate in the program but struggled with the transition.”
Amazon has been trying to gear up an independent delivery service to handle packages now going to companies such as UPS (UPS) and FedEx (FDX) as well as the Postal Service.
Amazon said since it has started the delivery service, there have been more than 200 independent contractors who signed up to handle the deliveries. Between them they have hired thousands of local drivers to deliver packages, according to Amazon. This year, the company plans to add hundreds more delivery contractors, including the former employees who take up the company on its offer.