Some employers offering incentives for getting COVID-19 vaccine

Updated: Mar. 9, 2021 at 5:46 PM EST
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CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - While many workplaces aren’t requiring their employees to get the COVID-19 vaccine, some Lowcountry businesses and national retailers are offering incentives to get vaccinated.

Hospitality workers meet requirements for vaccination Phase 1B in South Carolina, which kicked off Monday.

Queen Street Hospitality groups is offering $100 for their employees at its three Charleston area restaurants. They include 82 Queen, Florence’s Lowcountry Kitchen, and Jalisco Taqueria & Tequila.

They say their goal is to keep their staff and guests safe and help make the community feel comfortable.

Queen Street Hospitality Group CEO Jonathan Kish says they’re also allowing for scheduling flexibility so employees will have the opportunity to get vaccinated.

“The coronavirus has been decimating the restaurant industry for the last year and there’s lots of fear out there about the coronavirus,” Kish said. “We want our staff to feel available and incentivized to get the vaccine if they want it.”

Kish says as of Monday afternoon two employers were able to schedule appointments and get the vaccine.

“We’ve been taking safety precautions very seriously and we’ve been doing that the whole time during the coronavirus so we want our customers to know that we’re doing everything we can for our staff first and for them as well,” Kish said.

Queen Street Hospitality Group employee Trista Hoffman coordinates special events. She says while she’s nervous about the vaccine she wants to protect herself and others.

“Because I work in all of our restaurants, I feel like I do need to get it to make sure that we maintain in keeping all of our staff and all of our guests healthy and safe,” Hoffman said.

While things aren’t back to normal for restaurants and event industry, business is starting to get better for some.

“I’m really excited because I do all of our special events, so I’ve seen a huge uptick in people calling about booking parties and rescheduling their weddings,” Hoffman said. “So, I’ve already seen how this vaccine has turned the world around because people are out ready to get it, ready to make sure that they can be in an environment that’s safe.”

The owner of Eggs up Grill locations in Ladson, Knightsville and Cane Bay is also offering incentives to employees to get vaccinated. Owner Marc Cotone says they are providing $50 to all employees who get vaccinated as compensation for their efforts to making their workplace and community the safest place possible.

According to AARP, other employers offering incentives include Aldi, Amtrak, Dollar General, InstaCart, Lidl, Walmart, Trader Joes, and corporate-owned McDonalds locations.

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