Shelby County, Tenn. — Should business owners offer paid time off or some type of incentive to help boost vaccination efforts across Shelby County?
Mayor Lee Harris said that’s not a bad idea.
One business owner said paid time off or other incentives for vaccinations may not be as easy as it sounds.
“If it’s a small business, it’s going to be pretty hard to offer any kind of incentive,” said Stogies Cigar Lounge Owner Kenneth Robertson.
Robertson is just getting back to some level of normalcy after his business shut down for three months last year during the pandemic.
“I think if not enough people get the vaccine, it’s going to start the whole thing over again,” he said.
Shelby County Mayor Lee Harris says he’s constantly thinking of ways to encourage people to get shots in arms. The county recently made a push to offer paid time off for county government workers to get the COVID-19 vaccine. Harris hopes other businesses will consider it as well.
“We’re encouraging every business in town that can to give employees paid time off to get a vaccine,” Harris said.
President Joe Biden recently called on states to offer $100 incentives.
“I don’t know if we’ll get there in Memphis and Shelby County but news of that request has reached us and we are certainly talking about that, among a host of other ideas,” Harris said.
Robertson hopes more people will get vaccinated but said his business can’t survive by offering incentives because he already lost a lot of money during the pandemic.
“There needs to be more incentives to take the vaccine but small businesses, it’s going to be hard to offer that,” Robertson said.
Harris said the issue with the $100 incentives is whether or not they have enough money in their coffers to make those payments.
FOX13 recently reported the City of Memphis said it will not pay $100 incentives.
©2021 Cox Media Group