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Charlotte business owners raise wages to incentivize job applicants, others hopeful for back-to-work bonuses

Updated: Jun. 2, 2021 at 5:28 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - The North Carolina Senate approved a bill that would pay people $1,500 dollar bonuses to get off unemployment and get a job within 30 days of the program’s start.

The bill goes to the house next, but the state cannot use federal funding for these bonuses unless the U.S. Department of Labor allows it.

“Now hiring” signs can be seen all across Charlotte.

Very few people showed up for a HomeInstead job fair for caregivers held on Wednesday.

Home Instead COO Jessica Quinlan believes bonuses would help.

“We are hoping that they would do that because we would match that $1,500 sign on bonus to anybody that wants to be employed with us,” Quinlan told WBTV.

There are also several open positions at Black Hawk Hardware at Park Road Shopping Center.

Co-owner Andrew Wilkerson says they increased their pay to bring more candidates in the doors.

“We changed our pay structure and we’re basically at $15 an hour,” Wilkerson said. “Everyone now is paid pretty much the same and we’re all in it together which is a gamechanger.”

Incentives are nice, but Wilkerson says the company culture is what sets his business apart.

“Lots of people have rebalanced their life over the last year and want to enjoy their job more and they are looking for a place that is more enjoyable than a job,” he said.

Over the past five years, Carrie Short says she feels valued working here.

“It’s a family-owned business,” Short said. “They care about us. It’s not just a corporation where you’re just a number.”

She believes if more businesses could find ways to create and sell their culture, more people would apply.

“Get out of the house!” she said. “Charlotte is opening up. We can’t be afraid anymore.”

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