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Small Businesses Take Big Steps on Vaccination

By Stephen Massey, Managing Director, Health Action Alliance

Every day, small businesses are rebuilding our economy. After shouldering a disproportionate economic burden during the pandemic, small businesses have emerged as engines of American innovation –– creating jobs and economic opportunity for a post COVID-19 future.

But we can’t get back to business until a large majority of Americans are vaccinated. Vaccines, highly effective and safe, offer the hope and protection we need to help our country and our economy reopen.

That’s why businesses across the country are encouraging vaccination. Small businesses can take big steps to help, building on their trusted relationships with employees, workers and customers to encourage all Americans to get vaccinated as soon as they can.

As a small business owner, here are three things you can do to strengthen the vaccine response in your community:

  1. Make a pledge to get vaccinated, and share why vaccines are important to you.
  2. Talk with your employees about the safety and efficacy of vaccines, and make sure to support workers who may have unique questions or concerns.
  3. Make it easier for your workers to get vaccinated by offering paid time off, transportation credits, meal vouchers or other support for scheduling vaccine appointments.

Small businesses across America have developed creative ways to encourage vaccination. Up-Down MKE, an arcade in Milwaukee, is giving 20 free game tokens to anyone who is vaccinated. Gadget Review, a technology publication, is giving employees who receive COVID-19 vaccines an extra week of paid vacation. The coalition “Save Philly Restaurants” is working directly with their local public health officials to help get their employees vaccinated. And, Cargo Transporters in North Carolina is hosting on-site vaccination clinics twice a week for their drivers.

The Health Action Alliance and the Initiative for a Competitive Inner City (ICIC) are working together to help small employers encourage vaccination and improve public health. We offer free tools and training to help small business owners support employees, communicate about vaccines and engage communities that may need extra help accessing or scheduling vaccinate appointments.

Now is the time for decisive action. Let’s work together to turn the tide against COVID-19, rebuild our economy and create a stronger, healthier future for everyone in America.

Health Action Alliance is providing a virtual briefing session to ICIC staff, program alumni and partners on May 11, 2021 from 1-2 pm ET. To register for the session, click here.

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