More than 200 businesses get state grants for vaccine incentives

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More than 200 Delaware small businesses will receive state grants up to $5,000 to reimburse them for the cost of providing incentives for vaccinated customers.

The small business grants are part ofDE Wins! – a public education and incentive campaign to encourage all eligible Delawareans to receive the Covid-19 vaccine. Participating small businesses come from across Delaware and represent a wide range of industries, including restaurants, retail, and personal care businesses.

Prizes range from a month’s membership at a fitness center to a free pizza and spaghetti and meatballs.

Delawareans can see the full list of businesses offering incentives to customers who show proof of vaccination atDEwins.org/partners.

“These grants give Delawareans another great reason to roll up their sleeve as we push toward our goal of having 70 percent of adult Delawareans vaccinated by July 4,” saidGov. John Carney. “A healthy economy requires a healthy community, and getting as many Delawareans as possible vaccinated is the best way we can ensure both.”

About 67% of adults in the state have received at least one dose of vaccine. The goal of the Biden-Harris Administration is 70% by July 4th.

“Small business is a huge part of Delaware’s economy,” saidSecretary of State Jeff Bullock. “We have sought ways throughout the economic struggles of the pandemic to support them. This program is a great example of how the state can support their efforts, and they can support ours right back by stepping up to encourage more Delawareans to get vaccinated.”

“Delaware’s small business community has shown a real enthusiasm for participating in the program,” said Jordan Schulties, director of the Division of Small Business. “The Division is administering the grant program, including evaluating the proposed promotions. The number of businesses that want to offer incentives and the creativity the business owners have shown in designing promotions that appeal to their customers is impressive. Small businesses stepped up during the pandemic to serve their customers. Now they’re helping once again by giving their customers another reason to get vaccinated.”

The promotions are part ofDE Wins!, a public education and incentive program announced May 25, which aims to increase vaccination rates statewide. In addition to offerings from small businesses, the program also includes twice-weekly prize drawings conducted by the Delaware Lottery and a final drawing with grand prizes, including $302,000 and two low-digit Delaware license plates.

Newly vaccinated Delawareans will also receive a $10 gift card.

The DE Wins! Vaccine Incentive Program runs through June 29. More businesses will be announced as part of the program in the coming days.

The incentives have not been universally praised by people who scrambled to get doses earlier in the year.

More recently, the state has dealt with ample supplies and low vaccination rates among younger people.

A declining number of Covid-19 cases also led to complacency. Public health officials caution that outbreaks of the virus are still possible, especially with the presence of faster-spreading variants and an end to mask and public gathering restrictions.

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