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Business gifts staff $130 a month in light of fuel cost increases

First Interstate Bank started a fuel stipend in April
First Interstate Bank starts fuel stipend to help employees with increasing fuel costs.
First Interstate Bank starts fuel stipend to help employees with increasing fuel costs.(Jeffrey Lindblom)
Published: May. 13, 2022 at 3:34 PM CDT
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA) - Over the last couple of months, it would be difficult to have not noticed gas prices trending upwards.

South Dakota’s average price is $4.13, and some companies are lending a hand to employees to help pay the bills.

First Interstate Bank began a fuel stipend in April, paying employees who make $65,000 a year or less $65 every two weeks, or $130 a month.

Scott Reiman, the bank’s Rapid City Market President, says he understands that people living in the Hills have to commute to get to their Rapid City offices, spending a good chunk of their pay on gas.

He hopes the stipend helps lighten financial burdens so his staff have funds that can be dedicated to the essentials, like groceries. Reiman says that’s because, ”our employees are our greatest asset that we have. When we do something like this, it’s to show our employees how much that we care about them. In turn, they enjoy doing things for other organizations in the community as well.”

The stipend will last through June, where they’ll determine whether or not the payments will continue or be changed depending on what fuel costs do.

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