Small businesses brace for holiday rush as labor shortage continues

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- Small business owners are bracing for another blow as we inch closer to the holiday season and the labor shortage continues

COVID-related unemployment benefits have expired, yet businesses are still desperately trying to staff up.

"People are a little hesitant to get off the sidelines. I'm not sure what's driving it," said LM Restaurants President Amber Moshakos.

Sara Fitzpatrick, the owner of The Cupcake Shoppe, said says her team is nervous.

Sales typically soar around the holidays as people swing by and grab decadent sweet treats to celebrate.

Fitzpatrick said she is offering competitive wages and retirement benefits to employees coming on board.

Moshakos said it is difficult to meet demand.

"As operators, it's the first time in my career ever where we're saying 'Hey we're going to turn away sales,'" she said.

The company has been testing some new recruitment strategies and running job ads on social media.

The sports bars packing in crowds for football season and the holidays are on the horizon.

"We kind of talk about holiday season being the NFL of the hospitality industry, and we are concerned will we be able to bring in events back in order to meet the demand," said Moshakos. "There's people who are wanting to have lots of holiday parties and right now, we're having to turn away some parties because we don't have the staff to take care of it."
Copyright © 2021 WTVD-TV. All Rights Reserved.