Local businesses continue to struggle to find workers

Updated: Jun. 9, 2021 at 3:07 PM EDT
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ROWAN COUNTY, N.C. (WBTV) - The ongoing labor shortage is continuing to cripple businesses around the country and here in the Carolinas. In Rowan County businesses are begging for workers, offering signing bonuses, or asking customers for patience.

“We’re having a tough time finding the right help, staffing, wait staff, kitchen staff,” said Nick Kalogeromotros of Blue Bay on Statesville Blvd. in Salisbury.

They’ve tried advertising for workers, but they just can’t find them. Closing the restaurant means losing business, but what choice do they have if they can’t wait on customers?

“It just wasn’t worth it, my dad said let’s just cut out lunch right now, let things settle down, hopefully this summer we pick up 2, 4, 5, 6 more employees. Hopefully everybody isn’t strained and under so much pressure,” Kalogeromotros added.

Just up the road at Hendrick’s BBQ, a sign in the lobby implores customers to be patient, and to be kind to the workers who did show up.

“We’re doing the best we can, we just don’t have any help,” one worker said.

And as bad as it is for restaurants, they are not alone when it comes to a labor shortage.

“We have a shortage of lifeguards throughout the United States, so that really prompts an issue for us,” said Crystal Roseman of Blue Waters Pool.

Blue Waters near Faith is a popular summer spot where families arrive early to be among the first in the refreshing water. But the difficulty this season for the owner has been finding enough trained lifeguards to fill those tall chairs. A Facebook appeal has helped.

“I’ve been posting constantly on Facebook that we needed help,” Roseman said.

From pools to restaurants, to just about any business, you see the signs advertising for help and offering bonuses. What will it take to bring workers back?

“That’s a great question…I’m not an economist, I don’t know, I’m not going to act like I do know. Hopefully things turned where people are incentivized to come back to work,” Kalogeromotros said.

According to the North Carolina Restaurant and Lodging Association, the leisure and hospitality sector, which includes restaurants, accounted for 20% of job losses during the pandemic. Now with restrictions lifting, those same businesses are having to work to bring workers back.

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