NewsArizona News


Valley equipment business gives employees an 'inflation buster'

Posted at 10:18 PM, Jun 16, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-17 01:19:35-04

At every turn, rising costs. Life’s daily expenses are getting more expensive with no signs of relief.

The federal reserve hiked its benchmark interest rate by 0.75% to combat inflation and hamper Americans’ willingness to spend money.

So, one Valley business is giving their employees more money.

A to Z Equipment Rental and Sales started selling lawn mowers from their garage in the early 60s. The business has grown to four locations across the Valley.

At the Gilbert location, Brody Hoeper in the party rental department, said his rent increased more than 50% in a year.

“Now I have to pick what’s cheapest for me [to eat,]” said Hoeper.

Over in the equipment rental department, Conner Lee, a father of three nervously laughs as he listed all the things he’s paying more for.

The Labor Department measures the consumer-price index increased 8.6% in May from the same month a year ago — marking the highest reading since December of 1981.

That year gas was just $1.81 a gallon.

Majority owner Vicki Dickerson said the competitive nature for employers had led to the struggle of keeping them.

She calls it an inflation buster or inflation band-aid.

For A to Z Equipment employees who have been with the company a year or more, they’ll see a $500 bonus in Friday’s paycheck. That’s in addition to a pay raise that can range from 50 cents to $6.00.

Part time employees will receive a $250 bonus.

Employees who have been with the company for less than a year will get a minimum of $100, $50 for those who are part time.

“Hopefully people will be happy, this won’t change their life forever or anything like that. Hopefully, they’ll appreciate it and give us a chance,” said Dickerson.

During the pandemic, Dickerson said their business was one of the few that saw a surge in sales. She attributes the boom in their warehouse to people stuck at home looking to improve their space through projects or landscaping.

“Everybody was building,” she said.

Behind the rental desk at the Gilbert location, Conner Lee said the bonus and raise makes him want to stay for another 10 years.

“We’re not trying to make this horrible, we’re trying to make things better,” said Dickerson.