MILWAUKEE — Some area businesses are offering cold hard cash for their workers to get vaccinated.
The climb to 70 percent herd immunity cannot come fast enough for those who work in the arts. This includes hard-hit Milwaukee Repertory Theater.
“It's really been a life-or-death struggle for us in the last year,” said Milwaukee Rep Executive Director Chad Bauman.
Bauman says back in March, The Rep decided to offer $200 to each of its 150 employees who got the COVID-19 vaccine.
“I think it will provide a level of comfort to a lot of folks, and they know they are going to a place that is as safe as possible," said Bauman.
And it worked.
“We are now at a 100 percent vaccinated rate,” said Baumann.
This was a $30,000 investment for the non-profit.
“If I were to give advice, do it as quickly as possible," Bauman said.
It is not just that organization. Other businesses are offering these cash incentives for employees to get vaccinated, including Lowlands Group, which runs restaurants such as Cafe Hollander. They are offering a $50 incentive to their employees.
“I think it shows both the creativity and to a degree the desperation the employers have to get people back into the workforce,” said Steve Baas, Senior Vice President for government affairs and public policy at Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce.
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Baas believes incentives like these can help southeast Wisconsin rebound faster.
"We spent the better part of a year freaking people out pretty well over COVID," said Baas.
Baas says getting certain workers to return to the office may take more time than we think. This could force businesses to offer creative incentives.
The Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce just completed a study about vaccination compliance in Wisconsin. They found out the motivation factors in getting a shot have nothing to do with where people live in the Badger state.
Rather, the study shows the older you were, or more educated, the higher the likelihood you plan to get vaccinated. In fact, people with a bachelor’s degree were nearly three times more likely to get a shot than those with a high school degree or less.
Here is the full study results via MMAC: