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Businesses are struggling to find employees to fill open jobs

Companies say it’s difficult to find applicants for positions
Published: Apr. 14, 2021 at 10:53 PM EDT
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TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) - All across the area, businesses are struggling. For some they are struggling after a year of slow sales or closures due to COVID-19, for others business is booming and the problem is a lack of employees. Across the board multiple local companies, temp agencies and corporations have a problem, finding employees.

The big question is, why? Marc Monnette is a Toledo business owner. He owns markets on Glendale Avenue and recently re-opened and took over another location on Secor Road. He says typically this time of year there is a large stack of applications to sort through as college students return home for summer but this year that’s not the case. In fact, with two stores to staff, he’s having trouble finding employees. Right now, Monnette has more than a dozen entry-level jobs available at the Secor Road location. You can simply apply online.

Monnette says he thinks part of the reason for the lack of potential employees is COVID-19.

“A lot of the people don’t want to work in the general public because they are nervous about COVID still,” says Monnette.

It’s a similar story at Whitehouse Inn. Owner Tony Fronk just expanded his outdoor patio and is looking to hire a cook. He is offering a $1,000 retention bonus for the position if you stay 6 months. So far, no one has applied.

Fronk says the restaurant industry is struggling to find people willing to work and he blames the unemployment benefits.

“There’s just too much money being given away and some of these people if they were making 600 dollars a week with unemployment for a job they were bringing in 700 or 800 they will make sacrifices in their life to sit home, which is unfortunate,” says Fronk.

Some companies are offering incentives and sign-on bonuses to attract help and it’s still difficult. Fronk says it is a double-edged sword, one where small businesses might lose out if this trend continues.

“This is more of a trickle up effect. If I have to hire someone that I would normally pay $10-12 an hour for $15, that’s gonna go right to the consumer. I have to raise menu prices accordingly to keep labor costs in control,” says Fronk.

With plenty of uncertainty, the ride is not over yet and business owners are just trying to hold on.

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