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Local organizations aid small businesses in offering wellness programs

Much attention has been paid to the use of employee reward and recognition programs that incentivize healthy lifestyles among workers by bigger companies.

Much attention has been paid to the use of employee reward and recognition programs that incentivize healthy lifestyles among workers by bigger companies.

However, many small to medium-sized businesses have found the initial costs of these initiatives daunting and thus have failed to implement any rewards programs. Fortunately, community organizations in some regions are hoping to help these companies join the wellness movement.

For example, California's Orange County Chamber of Commerce and a local YMCA are in talks to help provide healthy incentives for local businesses, The Times-Herald Record reports. This is especially important to the Chamber of Commerce, as 80 percent of its members are employers with 10 or fewer workers.

Through the partnership, YMCA would be able to provide gym memberships to qualified local companies. "We think it's something that could be a benefit to our members," Bill Fioravanti, vice president of membership development and services for the chamber, told the newspaper. "It's still conceptual, but we'd hope to be able to introduce it within the next few months."

Wellness programs can help local businesses cut healthcare costs and premiums. A good first step is offering blood pressure, cholesterol and BMI tests to create awareness among employees.

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