January 28, 2022
Boost OC Vaccination Incentive Program Successfully Draws to a Close
$3.25 Million Awarded to Residents & Reinvested in Local Businesses
Oneida County Executive Anthony J. Picente Jr. announced today that the Boost OC vaccination incentive program has successfully ended, awarding $3.25 million to over 32,000 local residents that was spent with local businesses.
“Boost OC was a tremendous success,” Picente said. “It has helped to incentivize more than 32,000 county residents to get their COVID-19 vaccinations while pumping millions into the local economy. The response to the program was so great in fact, that we allocated $750,000 more in federal funds to meet the incredible demand, securing gift cards for an additional 7,500 residents.”
Boost OC launched last September, using $2.5 million in federal American Rescue Act funding to issue $100 gift cards to county residents who received a COVID-19 vaccine or booster shot between the eligibility window of July 15, 2021 and December 31, 2021. In order to keep up with demand, Picente authorized an additional $750,000 for the program, which resulted in 32,000 county residents receiving the incentive. The program helped to propel Oneida County to one of the highest vaccination rates in the region.
For those who have already claimed their gift cards electronically, but have not yet used them, they will not expire. The same goes for individuals who were mailed gift cards because they did not have the ability to use them electronically. Oneida County continues to work with those individuals who had issues redeeming their gift cards.
“I would like to thank our partner in this program, Prize out, for helping to administer one of the largest vaccine incentive rewards anywhere in the U.S.,” Picente added. “I would also like to thank the local businesses who participated and helped to encourage the health and safety of our residents. Our business community has suffered many hardships during this pandemic and I’m glad they were able to receive a financial lift through the Boost OC program.”
David Metz, CEO of Prizeout said: “Prizeout is honored to have played a role in such an important initiative for Oneida County. We’re thrilled that there was such a great participation rate from Oneida County businesses, and that so many residents took the opportunity to support their local community. Both the business owners and residents were truly a pleasure to work with.”
Frank Elias, President of Utica Coffee Roasting Co. said: “Helping to improve the health of Oneida County residents was a rewarding opportunity and very gratifying. Boost OC was a great program to not only get people vaccinated, but also served as a huge ‘boost’ for our business. It’s our hope that we formed some life-long customers with all of the news ones that walked through our door looking to support local business.”
Andrea Duvall, owner of Utica Billiards said: “It has been a tough time for small businesses and to have something to serve a dual purpose of helping incentivize our community members to get vaccinated while targeting support to small businesses in our county was very much appreciated at a time when there hasn’t been a lot of good news. The Boost OC program was a great initiative that helped to generate some new business, while also allowing my regular customers to have another opportunity to support a place they patronize throughout the week.”
Corrine Gates, Owner of Krizia Martin Enterprises said: “Krizia Martin was proud to be a part of the Boost OC Program. Over 150 people chose the Krizia Martin gift card as their vaccine award, making the program a win/win for all involved. We saw almost as many new customers as we did returning customers, all very grateful for the program.”