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Most Small Businesses Take Hard Line on Vaccinations of Employees

There is more than one reason to do so.

By requiring vaccinations, you are protecting your other staff, your customers if you are a retail business, and also your health bottom line since sick people who end up in the hospital and potentially intensive care cost additional tens of millions of dollars to our health-care system.

Yesterday there were 8,000 deaths from COVID-19 recorded worldwide. Likely that is a very low number due to many third world nations not having a robust system for accounting for deaths from diseases. However, 2,000 of the 8,000 recorded deaths were in the United States. So, for the industrialized nations of the world we have 25 percent of the deaths. That makes us “exceptional” in a manner in which we don’t want to be.

Below is the news release on a small business study of vaccinations.

SEATTLE, WA - Digital.com, a leading independent review website for small business online tools, products, and services, recently released the results of their survey of 1,000 U.S.-based small business owners. The results showed that, similar to the policy enacted by Delta Airlines earlier this year, 60% of small businesses will only be hiring vaccinated employees. An additional 23% said they were considering a similar policy, while just 19% said that vaccination status was not a factor in hiring new employees.

The results are striking as they come amidst a labor shortage that has proved challenging for many small business owners. Of the 19% who said they were not requiring new employee vaccinations, 34% stated that the labor shortage had an effect on their decision-making process. Interestingly enough, only 78% of small businesses requiring new hire vaccinations are also requiring their current employees to get the vaccine. Of this 78%, three-quarters say they would fire an employee for refusing to get the shot.

“I am requiring the new hires to be vaccinated, as they might cause significant health and safety threats to other individuals,” commented Caio Bersot, head of HR and one of several small business owners interviewed for the study. “It is really quite difficult to maintain considering the labor shortage situation in the market, still I would not take a risk that would threaten the health and safety of the other employees,” he said.

This strict attitude toward vaccine compliance may be because small business owners have been burned in the past. 62% of those surveyed said that one or more of their current employees have tested positive for COVID, and 66% say that they have lost revenue due to employees taking time off after getting COVID. The results of the study show many business owners walking a fine line between the ability to hire new employees in a labor shortage, keep current employees safe, being sensitive to employee concerns, and remaining profitable by not repeating the mistakes of the past.
Eric Holdeman is a nationally known emergency manager. He has worked in emergency management at the federal, state and local government levels. Today he serves as the Director, Center for Regional Disaster Resilience (CRDR), which is part of the Pacific Northwest Economic Region (PNWER). The focus for his work there is engaging the public and private sectors to work collaboratively on issues of common interest, regionally and cross jurisdictionally.
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