The Sault Ste. Marie Chamber of Commerce (SSMCOC) and the STRIVE Young Professionals Group have established the Algoma Vaccination Support Council (AVSC).
The working group, which has started meeting weekly, is comprised of local businesses, organizations, and community stakeholders, and has identified the goal of increasing vaccination literacy, information dissemination about local vaccination efforts, and providing support wherever possible, such as food and beverages for vaccination clinic staff and volunteers as well as transportation for those unable to secure transportation to those vaccination clinics.
Sault Ste. Marie Chamber of Commerce president Michael Stone says that the group “will share evidence-based information to businesses, unions, non-profits, and other organizations, which can then be made available to local workers. Ultimately, we want our workers and citizens to be fully informed about the risks of COVID-19, the benefits and safety of the vaccines that are available, and the opportunities available locally to receive them.”
The Council believes that there is a significant role for the business community to play in ensuring that timely and accurate public health information reaches Sault Ste. Marie workers and their families, as well as customers, clients and local citizens.
“Most businesses already have their own internal communications processes, so it makes sense to ensure that businesses are included in the distribution of information on COVID-19 and the vaccination process,” says SSMCOC CEO, Rory Ring. “Further, we believe that there may be a role for businesses to play in helping facilitate the vaccination process. It may be feasible to look at allowing some of our larger employers to host in-house vaccinations. Businesses may also be able to assist with logistics, for example, providing transportation for employees or their families to clinics as needed. These are the types of items that the Council will discuss and ultimately offer support with.”
The Council is being facilitated by the Sault Ste. Marie Chamber of Commerce, and is co-chaired by Derek Jackson, chair of the STRIVE Young Professionals Group and Louise Caicco Tett, principal of Health & Safety Professionals Inc. Already, an impressive number of local businesses have joined as founding members. These founding members represent thousands of local workforce members and include:
Sault Ste. Marie Chamber of Commerce
STRIVE Young Professionals Group
Health & Safety Professionals Inc.
Shoppers Drug Mart
Wishart Law Firm
Wardlaw Heating and Cooling
Tenaris Algoma Tubes
Rotary Club of Sault Ste. Marie
United Way of SSM & District
Indigenous Friendship Centre
Nogdawindamin Family and Community Services
CTS Canadian Career College
Algoma Public Health
Algoma Ontario Health Team
Batchewana Pandemic Response Team
Garden River Pandemic Response Team
Group Health Centre
Sault Area Hospital
Destination Northern Ontario
City of Sault Ste. Marie
District of Sault Ste. Marie Social Services Administration Board
Sault Ste. Marie Airport Development Corporation
PUC Services Inc
Sault Ste Marie and District Labour Council
Business and those interested in participating in, or assisting, the AVSC are invited to contact Rory Ring at the Sault Ste. Marie Chamber of Commerce at [email protected]. The Council will be looking for assistance with logistics, support in the way of professional expertise, volunteers, or donations.