New Bedford and Fall River Small Businesses Help Raise Vaccine Awareness

BizGrow, Coronavirus, Health Disparities

Lawyers for Civil Rights (LCR) and Point32Health announced that 15 diverse- and women-owned small businesses located in New Bedford and Fall River have been awarded grants to promote vaccine awareness in their communities. 

“As many features of the pandemic become endemic, it is critical to promote the economic revitalization of low-income and diverse communities,” said Iván Espinoza-Madrigal, Executive Director of Lawyers for Civil Rights. “This is particularly important as our economy continues to transform in response to the pandemic — and as communities of color experience an uneven recovery. We commend Point32Health for launching this creative and meaningful program to support our communities. We are proud to promote local vaccination efforts through small businesses.”

As part of this community initiative, the small businesses will serve as vaccine ambassadors in their communities helping to spread awareness about the vaccine and its efficacy. Each business will receive $1,300. Funding and support for this initiative was provided by Point32Health, known for its commitment to providing innovative, high-quality health care coverage across a person’s lifespan, regardless of age or circumstance.

“These 15 small businesses will play a critical role in helping to champion the COVID-19 vaccines, and to help combat vaccine hesitancy,” said Kevin J. Rasch, Chief Business Diversity Officer for Point32Health. “Collaborating with the Lawyers for Civil Rights has been key to helping us support local small businesses during the ongoing pandemic. Now, more than ever, it is crucial to get more people vaccinated and stop the spread of the virus.”

New Bedford and Fall River have some of the lowest vaccination rates in Massachusetts. Approximately 73 percent of residents are vaccinated in Massachusetts, but in New Bedford, only 52 percent of the population is fully vaccinated. In Fall River, only 57 percent of the population is fully vaccinated.

“Diverse- and women-owned small businesses are critical to the fabric of our communities. We are thrilled to be able to support them in their efforts to increase vaccine awareness in their communities to keep their communities safe,” said Priya Lane, Director of LCR | BizGrow. “We applaud Point32Health to recognize the importance of funding this initiative to increase vaccine rates in these communities.”’

The businesses include: 

Amigos Market 2: A Latinx-owned mini-market in New Bedford. They offer a variety of products and services to the local community. The market will provide unique incentives such as free money transfers and remittances for customers with vaccination cards.

Ju Sama LLC: A Black, woman-owned shop offering organic herbal teas, body butters, and other products to the New Bedford community. The business will promote vaccination during their “pop-up” shops in the community.

Highland Daycare: A Latinx, woman-owned child care center in Fall River. The center will help host community events to promote COVID-19 vaccination and pandemic relief efforts.

Love My Care Home: A Black, woman-owned home care business serving the New Bedford community. Their mission focuses on assisting geriatric and hospice patients with day-to-day activities in the comfort of their home. The business will provide incentives for employees to get vaccinated and reward staff members who have served as essential workers throughout the pandemic.

Redds Suds and Bubbles: A Black, woman-owned laundromat providing pick-up, drop-off, and on-site laundry services for the Fall River community. The business will provide incentives for staff and community members to get vaccinated.

Sousa’s Shoes: A Brazilian-owned retail store providing discount shoes, clothing, and household goods to the New Bedford community. With each purchase, the store will give away materials about vaccine efficacy, including flyers with vaccine clinic information.

Bel Art Aesthetics: A woman-owned medical spa practicing medical aesthetics and skin health for clients in New Bedford. The spa will purchase additional masks and other personal protection equipment for staff and customers. The business will also create signage and provide incentives to encourage the public to get vaccinated.

Fashion Lem is a Latinx woman-owned retail clothing store in Fall River. They provide casual and formal wear designed for the local community. The store will educate, inform, and encourage their customers to get vaccinated..

Owl Eye LLC: A woman-owned property maintenance and management business in New Bedford. Their team specializes in painting, landscaping and carpentry projects. The business will create vaccine-friendly promotional materials for their vehicles and provide staff with paid time off to get vaccinated.

MVB Barber Shop: A Latinx-owned barber shop in Fall River. The shop will promote vaccinations for employees and customers.

787 Barber Shop: A Latinx-owned barber shop in New Bedford. The shop will incentivize and educate employees and community members to help promote vaccination.

Brookdollz Collection: A Black, woman-owned online boutique in New Bedford, providing a variety of retail and clothing items through their site. The boutique will promote vaccination efforts and provide incentives for employees and customers.

Guatemala Musical: A Latinx-owned retail store in New Bedford selling clothing and accessories to the local community. The store will educate, incentivize, and promote vaccines to customers.

Pa Raffa’s Italian Restaurant: A woman-owned family business providing quality food at reasonable prices in New Bedford. Since the pandemic hit, the restaurant has not been able to reopen for indoor dining due to health concerns. The restaurant will incentivize staff and encourage patrons to get vaccinated.

Lion Landscape: A Black-owned business specializing in property management and construction. They are heavily involved in the local New Bedford community, giving back to local youth and seniors. The business will deepen and expand its work keeping the surrounding area clean, safe, and vaccinated.