CHARLOTTE, N.C. (FOX 46 CHARLOTTE) – Looking for a job has never been easier. ‘Help Wanted’ signs line nearly every street in Charlotte.
Small business that are advertising for open positions say these last 18 months have been extremely difficult.
“We are trying to hire people and we place ads online and it had gotten to the point where we barely get any responses to the ads we place,” Owner of Poppy’s Bagels Ronald Rippner said.
The owner said his shops have had no shortage of customers. The business is seeing high volumes of online orders and walk-ins.
“Every weekend that we get through we kind of say, ‘woo, we made it through the weekend with enough people to just kind of get by,” Rippner said.
What would typically be celebrated by a small business that made it through the pandemic, is not problematic…empty positions means staff are struggling to keep up.
“I’ve talked to literally dozens of small businesses in the last 18 months that have gone out of business, and it’s not because they don’t have work to do. They have lots of work to do and they can’t get anyone to help them,” President of the Better Business Bureau Tom Bartholomy said.
Since the start of the pandemic, about 5.3 million Americans have yet to return to work according to the U.S. Labor Department.
With COVID-related unemployment benefits expiring Tuesday, many businesses are hoping that will encourage people to re-enter the workforce.
“Even if it’s not the primary driver that’s been keeping people out of the work force, anything is going to help,” Bartholomy said.
Rippner said he needs three to four more employees on weekends and has even increased pay as an incentive.
“I am hoping that will motivate people to come back to work,” Rippner said.
Besides not having a healthy number of staff, businesses say constantly having to advertise for open positions is costing them money.
At Poppy’s, Rippner said they spend about $1,000 a month trying to recruit workers.