Local business owners weigh in on impacts of worker shortages

Local News

The pain caused by the global pandemic hasn’t ended for local business owners. With businesses and restaurants back open, their problem right now is not a lack of customers, but a lack of workers.

One popular bar even closing down temporarily. John Melody says they had to close the bar and restaurant part and move its workers to other locations.

Melody says, during the pandemic, many decisions were made for business owners, such as occupancy limits.

“So right now, you are making the decisions for yourself that are in the best interest for your business and the best interest for the employees that you have.” Melody said.

Melody said they shut down this location to consolidate and take care of the employees. He would like to see small businesses get some kind of guidance as to when they can get their workforce back.

“I can assure you it’s not a wage thing. We pay well, we have 401K programs. We have health care plans, we pay our people very well, it’s just the workforce is not there right now and why is it not there?” Melody said.

According to Melody, they don’t offer sign on bonuses because they don’t work.

“But anyone I have spoken to has said in our same industry says they just don’t work. Obviously, we can see people out there, all you have to do is drive down any street and see the signs out there.” Melody said.

The general manager at Primanti Brothers says they’ve had a boost of business, but not necessarily a boost of workers. They are offering a free sandwich if you come in for an interview.

“Just trying to find more people. It has been a little bit tougher than normal. We have not had the application flow that we used to get. We want to bring those people though these hiring events. It’s nice.” said Joshua Garrity.

John Melody says there is no time table on when John Russell Brewing will open back up.

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