Two local business owners team up to incentivize vaccines

Published: Jul. 26, 2021 at 10:59 PM CDT|Updated: Jul. 26, 2021 at 11:07 PM CDT
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JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - Two local business owners are joining forces with incentives to help Mississippi avoid another shutdown.

Restaurant owner Jeff Good and clothing store owner Keith Kinkade said they want to start the conversation about the vaccine’s benefits for the business community.

They realize not everyone will get the shot but said if they can save even just one life, it’ll all be worth it.

Jeff Good owns BRAVO! Italian Restaurant & Bar, Broad Street Baking Company & Café, and Sal and Mookie’s New York pizza and ice cream joint.”

And he says his businesses were no different from the many others that struggled last year.

“March 18 is the famous day that we had to let all of our employees go.”

Every day since, he’s had to find ways to slowly rebuild.

Once vaccines became available, he says business came back strong.

“We’ve been really running so well. And here we are at the cusp of yet another potential downturn.”

That’s why Good and his long-time friend and clothing store owner Keith Kinkade are offering $10 gift cards to anyone who shows proof of vaccination from July 23 forward. Customers can use them at Kinkade’s Fine Clothing or any of Good’s restaurants. Aside from free food, participants will also get entered into a drawing where one out of 100 people will get a custom-tailored suit from Kinkade’s.

“We want to send the message that the vaccine is an important way to keep Mississippi moving forward. There’s no reason to stop moving forward.”

The Mississippi Department of Health says the state’s positivity rate is now EQUAL to what it was during the worst of the pandemic in January. They also say 43% of those hospitalized with the virus right now are younger than 50 — strikingly different from last year when hospitalizations mostly occurred in those OVER 50.

“Plenty of folks won’t get vaccinated, and that is all part of the national model. We only need 70% of the folks in the nation to get vaccinated, and then we’ll hit herd immunity, but at 32 to 33%. For Mississippi, we’re not there.”

Good and Kinkade say they invite other businesses to join them in incentivizing vaccines.

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