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Restaurant uses cash incentive to encourage COVID vaccine to staff

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DULUTH, MN-- As the summer tourism season approaches, one Duluth business is trying to keep employees protected with a little cash encouragement.

The owners of the Boat Club and Vanilla Bean Cafe on Friday, launched the vaccine incentive program or VIP program to encourage restaurant staff to get the COVID-19 vaccine.

Owner Jason Vincent said he got the idea after seeing other larger businesses using a similar incentive model.

"For every employee that shows us their completed vaccination card, if they do so by July 1st, they will get $50 cash. They're going to be in the drawing to win two $250 Super One gift cards," said Vincent.

Vincent is hopeful getting employees vaccinated will prevent community spread and prevent the need for restaurants to shut down.

"We want to protect our guests who are coming to dine with us, we want to protect their co-workers, and we also want to protect our business," added Vincent.

The Duluth Chamber of Commerce adds with more vaccination efforts, we could soon see businesses re-opening at full capacity.

"The faster that we can open our businesses in full capacity, the faster recovery will happen for our small businesses," said Marketing Director Chris Johnson. "More people will start to regain their employment and it's going to be overall really good for our economy."

She adds while the economic recovery process will take time, they're looking forward to making progress as the summer season approaches.

"We expect this to be a slow recovery but even still we're seeing leaps and bounds ahead of where we were last year," Johnson said.

According to Forbes magazine, larger businesses participating in similar incentive programs are Dollar General, Trader Joe's, Aldi, and Chobani yogurt.

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Emma Quinn

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