From free beer to donuts, businesses offer incentives for those vaccinated


EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WEHT) – Despite the fact that millions have been vaccinated safely, many still worry about complications or long-term effects.

A recent NPR/Marist poll found one in four Americans said they would refuse the vaccine outright while another five percent are undecided.

Therefore – some businesses are rolling up their sleeves to figure out ways to get people to roll up their own and get the vaccine.

From beer to donuts, brands like Budweiser and Krispy Kreme are offering free product. In one case, a dispensary in Michigan is doing what’s called “Pot for Shots” by offering a free pre-rolled marijuana joint for those who prove they’re fully vaccinated.

Local Evansville businesses also showing they stand behind the vaccine.

Businesses like Hacienda on the west side of Evansville say Covid forced them to lay off employees for the first time in their history. Therefore, they want to incentivize workers to get vaccinated so they can return to the way things were before.

“They gave every employee that wants to be vaccinated two hours of pay, and then it gives certificate to use in the restaurant after they get their second vaccine. So that they can, you know, come in and visit and have a mudslide to cheer him up or whatever, whatever they felt like they needed,” said Falisha Pierce, West Side Hacienda’s General Manager.

One employee of a Mt. Vernon based business said her company offers eight hours of vacation time.

“I actually do know a few people that have had their eight hours off and being able to enjoy some extra vacation time from it,” said Kathleen Gasper.

Pierce said she’s only had a few employees take her up on the offer but feels that will change.

“Most of our employees are probably just not the age, they can get the vaccine. So we’re having more sign up now. And then some of our other employees are older, and maybe not as sure about it, but everybody that wants to get it, we educate as much as we can,” said Pierce.

Bigger companies like Aldi, McDonalds, and Target and are offering up to four hours of paid time off.

But if incentives like those for employees or free beer and donuts for customers don’t tip the scales when it comes to vaccine numbers, companies are still showing where they stand.

(This story was originally published on April 29, 2021)

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