Springfield businesses ‘proud to be 100% vaccinated,’ sharing their milestone with signs

Published: Sep. 14, 2021 at 9:38 PM CDT
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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - A few businesses and organizations across Springfield are sharing their vaccination milestones with the public through new signs from the Springfield-Greene County Health Department.

The signs read, “Proud to be 100% vaccinated.” To a few of those businesses, like Gilardi’s Ristorante on Walnut, it is more than a simple sign. It is a statement of devotion and commitment.

”We really have a dedication to protecting and supporting the community,” said Gilardi’s owner James Martin. “And the vaccines are a very simple and effective way of doing so.”

Everyone working at Gilardi’s is fully vaccinated. Martin said that was a choice not a demand.

”Since the beginning of this, really it has been how do we protect my immediate family, my work family and my community family,” Martin said.

Over at Mother’s Brewing, it is a pretty similar situation.

”It’s our culture here,” said Mother’s Brewing owner and founder Jeff Schrag. “We didn’t mandate it as a condition of employment, but everyone just went out and got vaccines as soon as they could. We think it’s best for the community. We think it’s best for us as a brewery.”

Schrag said many employees were eager to get their vaccines as soon as they had a chance to get one.

“It was something people took a priority of,” he said. “When they began offering surplus vaccines at Walmart, there was a day people ran out of the office trying to get those surplus vaccines back in March and April. It became super easy to get vaccinated and everybody took advantage of that.”

Whether enjoying Italian dining at Gilardi’s, or a cold brew at Mother’s, both businesses say their vaccination milestone is as much about them as it is their customers.

”We want to have the safest place possible for our customers, because we dearly love them,” Schrag said. “I think we all just believe vaccination gives you some confidence that you can go about your business and you’re doing the best thing you can do for your community.”

While James Martin said he believes vaccines and medical care are ultimately personal and private decisions, he does have a message for other businesses in the area.

”It’s a safety issue,” he said. “It’s a safety issue as much as it is as not standing on a wobbling ladder, not having water dripping on an electrical outlet. Maintaining the safety and security of your personal family and your work family is of the ultimate concern for business owners, especially in these times. I would encourage any business owner to please think about this - the safety not only of themselves, their family, their work family but our community family.”

Martin also said some business owners may want to try new methods to help encourage vaccines among employees.

“For businesses who are wanting to increase their vaccination, clear, honest and open communication is important,” he said. “If an incentive needs to be given, it’s certainly a lot better than a stick. Maybe give them paid time off in order to go get the vaccine. Perhaps give them a physical or monetary reward. Ultimately the vaccine is safe and it is certainly a lot safer than getting COVID.”

Harmony House in Springfield is also now 100% vaccinated. The Springfield-Greene County Health Department is encouraging these new displays when a business’s vaccination rate hits 70%. Businesses can request the signs from the health department.

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