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SAN DIEGO (CNS) — Petco is donating $2 million to launch an employee relief fund, the San Diego-based pet supply company announced Sunday.

The Petco Partner Assistance Fund will “provide ongoing support to Petco’s 27,000+ partners as they face the effects of COVID-19 as well as future hardship in other times of need.”

The company’s initial $2 million will be added to by additional donations from the company’s private equity sponsors at CVC Capital Partners, and personal donations from every member of its Board of Directors and executive leadership team, officials said.

Employees will be able to apply for support beginning later this week, for things such as evacuation or quarantine expenses, housing, utilities, transportation, childcare, insurance deductibles, household contents, medical or funeral expenses or necessary counseling.

“Now more than ever, our Petco partners are playing an invaluable role in helping to provide vital products and services for pets and families across the U.S. and beyond,” CEO Ron Coughlin said. “This is our way of lending a collective helping hand when they may need it most. Whether it’s now, related to the unprecedented and still undetermined effects of COVID-19, or other times of need they face, this fund is intended to provide necessary support to the partners who fuel Petco’s work to improve the lives of pets, pet parents and our own people every day.”

Pet stores are among the businesses deemed essential and allowed to remain open under Gov. Gavin Newsom’s stay-at-home order to slow the spread of the virus.