DALLAS — North Texas businesses are desperate for things to go back to "normal," and they're hoping getting more and more people vaccinated will mean a return to pre-pandemic profits. In fact, they're putting their money where their mouth is, and are now offering prizes to those who get jabbed.
The Dallas Regional Chamber said it plans to launch a sweepstakes this summer with a goal of getting 600,000 more people vaccinated in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. People who live in Collin, Dallas, Denton or Tarrant counties could win roundtrip flights or tickets to games from teams like the Cowboys or Mavericks if they get vaccinated and sign up for the sweepstakes.
Winners will be randomly selected later this summer in drawings for the prizes, which have been donated by DRC members and community partners like American and Southwest airlines and the Cowboys, Mavericks, Stars, Wings and FC Dallas, a news release explained.
“Getting the vaccine is about protecting you, but that’s not all it’s about. It’s also about protecting the employees of every North Texas business so they can fully reopen and get back to the life they deserve. And that’s everyone’s business,” Dale Petroskey, the president and CEO of the chamber, said in the release.
The "Take Care of Business" campaign will also promote different ways people can get the vaccine, like mobile vaccination pop-ups at community events or holding a phone bank to help people get informed.
The chamber hopes its efforts can help raise the area's current vaccination rate of North Texans over the age of 16 with at least one shot from 60% to 70%.
“While it may seem like North Texas is open for business again, the local economy is far from fully recovered, and some communities have been impacted much more than others," explained Latosha Herron Bruff, senior vice president for community engagement at the Dallas Regional Chamber. "Small business owners – like your hairstylist, your dry cleaner, your local restaurant owner – have been impacted far greater than most across the region."
Bruff and the DRC is looking to get everyone back to business, whether they're a large or small organization, by creating a safe environment for all to operate in, and she said that begins with everyone getting the vaccine - especially in communities of color.
"Hispanic Texans make up 40 percent of the population, but they account for 52 percent of COVID cases, but they’re only just 33 percent of vaccinations today,” Bruff said. "If we look at Black Texans, they make up 12 percent of the population, but account for 15 percent of COVID cases and 8 percent of vaccinations to date."
“We do know that the ability to get more Texans vaccinated means getting more businesses back to work and all of us back to life," she concluded.
To sign up for alerts about the sweepstakes and learn more about getting vaccinated, click here.