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San Diego business groups weigh in on Biden's vaccine mandate

COVID-19 vaccination card
Posted at 7:18 PM, Sep 10, 2021

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — Local experts are weighing in on President Biden's COVID-19 vaccine mandate for certain businesses.

Thursday, Biden announced his six-pillar plan aimed at beating the pandemic. It includes businesses with 100 or more employees require their workers to get vaccinated or undergo weekly COVID-19 testing.

“This mandate means that a lot more jobs are going to be at a lot higher quality than they were before,” Daniel Enemark, a senior economist with the San Diego Workforce Partnership, said.

Enemark backs the President's vaccine action plan. He said it addresses two major components for businesses: safety and speeding up economic recovery.

“We’re talking about an improvement of job quality for millions of workers, tens of millions of workers because safety is crucial to job quality,” he said.

The San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce, which helps around 2500 businesses, also supports the plan.

CEO and President Jerry Sanders said they’ve encouraged people to get vaccinated since doses became available.

"Our businesses want to stay open," Sanders said. "We don’t want to see them closed again so I think that businesses will make those decisions and I hope people respect the decisions they make.”

The only possible challenge Sanders sees with the mandate is funding. He said he hopes the federal government can provide financial aid to help businesses implement the changes.

“A lot of small business and all business have had to fund almost all these things and it's pretty difficult we they’ve had to be closed down several times," Sander said.

But not everyone approves of Biden's latest plan.

San Diego County Supervisor Jim Desmond sent ABC 10News the following statement regarding the mandate:

“I’ve always believed the government should stay out of the way when it comes to telling business owners how to operate. I thought the government mandating business closures in 2020 went too far. Similarly, I'm not one to tell businesses how to open and operate. I’m against workplaces mandating vaccines for their employees, as you’re forcing people to choose between getting inoculated or providing for their family. I’m glad to see most entities, (like the County of San Diego) allowing the option to be COVID tested weekly.”