Local business owners applaud vaccine mandates major employers are enforcing :: WRAL.com

— Major employers like Disney and CVS have recently mandated their workers get vaccinated against coronavirus, while Delta Airlines said it will start charging unvaccinated employees an extra $200 a month for health insurance.

While some major Triangle-area employers have remained silent on the idea of a vaccine mandate for staff, smaller businesses are applauding the move.

“I don’t want people here who haven’t been vaccinated,” said Gus Gusler, the owner of Raleigh restaurant Players’ Retreat. “You can’t work here if you haven’t been vaccinated.”

Players’ Retreat reopened two months ago with the restriction that only vaccinated customers and workers would be allowed inside.

Gusler praised Delta for its decision to charge higher insurance premiums to workers who aren’t vaccinated.

“There was a point where, if you were a smoker, they would raise your insurance rates,” he said. “At this point, I don’t know how you could possibly not be willing to go out and get the vaccine, but if you’re not willing to do that, I don’t think the company or employer should have to bear the burden if you go out and get sick.”

Micki McCarthy, store manager for Weaver Street Market, agrees. All workers at her grocery store must be vaccinated.

“That seems like a reasonable decision for Delta,” McCarthy said. “You know, they didn’t let anyone go, and there are a lot of businesses right now that are telling their employees that they either have to get vaccinated or find new jobs. So, it was a work-around for them.”

Sixty percent of North Carolina adults, age 18 or older, are fully vaccinated, with another 5 percent having had one dose of vaccine, according to state Department of Health and Human Services data.

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