With employee shortages poising challenges for businesses across the nation, we reached out to local business owners as some of their employees will be returning to school.

We spoke with these owners about whether they will have enough employees this fall.

Business owners said that this time of year is always a difficult transition. However, they feel more prepared for this fall compared to last year.

For the past two years, employees have faced challenges when it comes to keeping their businesses fully staffed.

Even pre-pandemic local business owners said that the end of August and early September is a difficult transition.

John Melody, the Owner of UPick 6, said that while they could always use more employees, their current staff is prepared for the months ahead.

“I’ve often said don’t be mad at the people who are working, be mad at the people maybe that are not working. There’s a lot of people out there who are working hard for us and for lots of their people in our industry. Please be patient and be kind and we will absolutely take care of you,” said John Melody, Owner of UPick 6.

Melody said that last year they had to temporarily close some of their restaurants because they were so understaffed.

He said that this year they’re in a better position position and have been able to retain most of their staff.

“We just try to take care of people that take care of us, and that goes from the entry-level person to the person who’s in upper management, and that’s what we want to do in our stores all the time. We hear from employees, we try and do what’s right for them and it’s an ever-changing world, and we’re trying to adapt to and adjust to that,” said Melody.

The vice president of Scott Enterprises said that this time of year is always a difficult transition when students return to school.

“It hurts when they leave. They go back to school and then it’s a challenge for us. We have to fill in here and there, but it also coincides with when business slows down. So there are a couple of weeks here and there that are kind of tricky cause they go back right before Labor Day, but we still have a busy Labor Day weekend, so our managers really get involved and work really hard to get through those weeks,” said Nick Scott, Vice President of Scott Enterprises.

Scott said that despite a difficult 2021, things are getting easier.

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“Last year we couldn’t open our water park every day of the week. This year we could. So it’s gotten better. I hope it continues to get better because we have the demand. People want to go out, they want to spend money, they want to eat out, they want to travel with their family, but if we don’t have the team to service them, then we can’t do it and we can’t do it well,” said Scott.