The Yellowknife Chamber of Commerce is stepping up to encourage vaccinations and $20,000 is on offer in the Crush Covid Yellowknife Draw.
Any NWT resident who is fully vaccinated by Sept. 10 can enter the draw to win a $10,000 cash prize, the chamber said in a news release on June 15.
All vaccinated individuals can enter regardless of when they received both of their jabs.
People who received the second shot between June 11 and Sept. 10 can enter the draw to another $10,000 prize, giving recently vaccinated individuals two chances to win.
The prizes are possible from the contributions of land surveying company Ollerhead and Associates Ltd.
The draw will take place on Sept. 17 and will be live streamed on the chamber’s Facebook page.
To be eligible, participants must provide a copy of their COVID-19 vaccination record and proof of NWT residency before they can claim their prize.
Proof of vaccination forms are available online and can be sent to NTHSSA_covidvaxrecords@gov.nt.ca.
READ MORE: Vaccination form
To enter the draw visit the Crush Covid Yellowknife portal.
SEE MORE: Crush Covid Yellowknife
A growing number of Yellowknife businesses are offering their own incentives in a bid to increase COVID-19 vaccination rates.
As part of their own response to Crush Covid Yellowknife, Copperhouse eatery, Bullocks Bistro, Tutor Doctor and Sundog Adventures have joined the campaign.
Residents eligible to redeem an incentive must have received their second dose between June 11 and July 30 and be able to show proof of vaccination with their vaccination card, including the date of the jab and specifying whether the first or second shot was administered.
Positive spin on a serious issue
Copperhouse owner Mark Henry decided to bring his business into the campaign as part of a collective effort to raise vaccination rates in the NWT.
“There’s an element of eagerness to get everybody over the line,” he said. “We’re all affected in our own little way by the pandemic. The chief public health officer has set out the goal posts (for lifting restrictions). It’s quantifiable. They’re designed to tell us what we need to do to be safe. The business community is doing what it can do to incent people to get that second dose, then we can (hopefully) have an element of normalcy in our lives.”
His restaurant is offering a free beverage and dessert to anyone who qualifies for the incentive.
As it’s still early on in the campaign, no customers have yet come forward to redeem their incentive, Henry said.
“The point is to draw attention to vaccinations and put a positive spin on a serious issue. I’m glad people are encouraged to do it through these programs.”
Hit the jab, hit the books
While Tutor Doctor is a relatively new business in Yellowknife, it too wants to do its part to help end the pandemic.
“I’m really ready for everything to return to normal,” said owner Quinlyn Connell. “And so if that takes incentivizing people beyond just ‘hey we’ll be able to travel and live life a little less chaotically’ then so be it.”
Launched in January of 2020, the company provides in-person and online tutoring to students across the territory in all grades. With its roster of tutors it strives to accommodate students based on goals, grade levels and personality.
The doctor will administer two hours of free online tutoring for eligible vaccinated residents for any grade level or subject.
“This is the first time we’ve been involved in a chamber of commerce program like this. It’s neat to be a part of the chamber of commerce and Yellowknife community as a whole,” Connell said.
Sense of moving forward
Jo-Ann Martin realized long ago that some people would inevitably hesitate to get their vaccinations.
When the NWT’s first Moderna doses arrived at the end of December, 2020 the Bullock’s Bistro owner decided she would join an incentive drive if one was started.
“The vaccinations were going well and then we hit a lull. It has quieted down. I think we need to find a way to get as many people vaccinated as possible,” Martin said.
“Incentives aren’t fool proof but they’re something. As a business that has struggled in the pandemic, and as a business that relies on customer numbers it makes sense to be involved in this. When the chamber asked us about it we said we would absolutely join.”
Her historic Old Town restaurant is offering 10 per cent meal discounts to qualified diners looking to redeem their incentives.
Two diners showed their proof of vaccination on June 15 to receive the discount.
For Martin, the program gives her an added sense of moving forward after months of inertia due to the lock down and slow business activity.
“We have been sitting ducks for a year now. And (now) we’re actually able to do something. The staff is vaccinated. We’ve followed all the public health protocols. This is another thing that we can add to the list of trying to get this thing under control. The community has been incredibly good to us in this pandemic. I think this is one thing we can give back.”
Other businesses willing to join the campaign or provide prizes can email the chamber at Admin@YKChamber.com.