The Governor’s Office of Economic Opportunity (Go Utah) has begun accepting applications from employers that have paid employees for time off to either receive a COVID-19 vaccine or recuperate from side effects after their vaccination. The program has received $500,000 in federal CARES Act funds as part of Utah’s response to the coronavirus pandemic.
“We’re grateful to be able to offer the Small Business Employee Vaccination Grant to qualifying companies around the state,” said Gov. Spencer J. Cox. “We hope this will help provide the opportunity for even more Utahns to receive the important COVID-19 vaccine, especially if they haven’t been able to because of their work situation. Our hourly workers, who often do not receive paid time off, can now take up to 20 hours of paid leave, for which the state will reimburse their employers.”
The grant offers employers reimbursement to provide paid time off for employees who are otherwise not eligible for paid time off — typically non-benefited hourly workers. The grant may be used for both full-time and part-time employees to cover average salary and tips. Grants will be offered to employers on a first-come basis while the funds last.
To be eligible for the Small Business Employee Vaccination Grant, businesses must have fewer than 50 full-time Utah employees who work 40 hours or more and one or more employees who will receive paid time off to either receive a COVID-19 vaccine or recuperate after their vaccination.
“We know the possibility of missing work, either to get the vaccine or to recover from possible side effects, can be a barrier to getting vaccinated,” said Nate Checketts, executive director of the Utah Department of Health. “These grants to small businesses will help employers and employees overcome this barrier and make it easier for these employees to get their vaccinations.”
Eligibility requirements, required documentation, additional program details and application process are available at business.utah.gov/sbevgrant.