SPRINGFIELD, Ohio (WDTN) — A small business owner from Springfield got a shoutout from President Joe Biden during a briefing Wednesday afternoon.
Patty Young, owner of Young Hair, Inc., was praised by the president for her salon’s creative strategy aimed at getting people in the community vaccinated.
“Patty Young owns a hair salon in Springfield, Ohio. She’s also dedicated to getting her customers and employees vaccinated,” Biden said. “When they leave the salon, the receptionist helps sign you or your family up to get a COVID vaccine, or where to get it. They’ve scheduled over 200 shots so far.”
Young said when she called for her vaccine appointment, she was asked by the Clark County Combined Health District to help get more minorities signed up for the vaccine.
“We heard things like ‘I can’t get scheduled,’ ‘I called and they put me on hold, or ‘they want me to go on a computer,'” Young said. “We were like we can make this simple, we can schedule it right here.”
Young said because she is busy running the salon, enlisted her sister and salon receptionist, Debbie Woods, to get people registered for their appointments.
“There’s been times when the phone will ring and someone says ‘I need an appointment,’ I have to ask them to get their hair done? Or to get a COVID vaccine?” Woods said.
Woods said more than 270 people have been vaccinated because of the salon’s efforts.
Young said the salon was able to dispell some vaccine misconception because many minorities have a higher distrust of the medical field.
“We have to win their trust, and if they know we got the vaccine, that made them feel a little more free about getting theirs,” Young said.
This praise came after Biden’s announcement of new measures offering small businesses tax incentives to give employees paid time off to get vaccinated and recover.
Paid for through the $1.9 trillion virus relief package passed last month, the tax change would provide a credit of up to $511 per day, per employee for businesses with fewer than 500 workers to ensure that those workers or businesses don’t suffer a penalty by getting vaccinated.
With almost all of their clients vaccinated, the phone calls have slowed down, Woods said the salon’s efforts haven’t stopped.
“I’m calling people, I’m asking people to get their grandkids scheduled, their children scheduled, so I’m still working hard on it,” Woods said.
Mercy Health has also recognized her contribution to the communities vaccination efforts. Young and Woods both founded Sisters United for Prevention 16 years ago.