‘This is a part of doing business now’: Business leaders urge employee vaccinations

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‘This is a part of doing business now’: Business leaders urge employee vaccinations

Pictured Frank Knapp, President of the SC Small Business Chamber

By Madeline Stewart

COLUMBIA, S.C. – The American Sustainable Business Council is calling for all employers to require employee vaccinations to help reach herd immunity against COVID-19.

Council President David Levine says requiring vaccinations will prevent another lockdown and help heal our economy from the pandemic.

“To do well and to compete internationally at all different levels, then we accept that this is a part of doing business now,” said Levine.

The council says if an employee is not medically able to get a COVID-19 vaccine, the employee should be required to get weekly COVID-19 tests or be isolated from other workers.

“Our economy and our businesses and our society can’t stand much more of this. We need to take some bolder actions,” said Levine.

Diane Sumpter, owner of local Columbia business DESA, Inc., has already mandated vaccinations for her 20 employees. She says 17 were already vaccinated prior to the requirement, then one got vaccinated following the announcement, and 2 chose to resign. She says it’s her responsibility as a business owner to keep the community safe against the virus.

“We needed to protect the ‘all’ and every employee has some place they go at the end of the day, whether it’s family, friends, parents, et cetera. So, we wanted to make sure we were doing our part,” said Sumpter.

Frank Knapp, President of the SC Small Business Chamber, backs the call for action citing the concerning delta variant and its ability to spread so quickly with the possibility of causing more severe disease for vulnerable populations.

“We are going to get through this faster and save a lot more lives and ensure that our economy is not going to fall apart again,” said Knapp.

As some Midlands businesses have already reinstated some public health precautions such as mask-wearing, social distancing, and required vaccinations, Knapp says this is something customers will start seeing more of.

“This is going to be the trend. And we’ll see not every small business is going to do it, that’s their prerogative. But the more that are doing it, makes it easier for others to join them,” said Knapp.

Knapp says without government mandates, individual businesses will be responsible for bringing back COVID precautions to keep communities safe and to prevent another lockdown.

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