(This article originally appeared in The Guardian)
It’s not news that employers are struggling to fill open positions. There are a lot of different reasons why so many people are staying at home – the lack of childcare options and a continuing fear for health and safety to stimulus payments and expanded federal unemployment benefits. None of this really relevant to small business owners right now. The fact is that, despite a growing economy and increased demand, there’s a serious labor shortage and just about every small business owner I talk to is struggling to find people.
So what are these businesses doing to solve this problem?
For starters, many employers around the country are simply increasing worker pay. To compete with the larger chains, independently owned restaurants like Philadelphia’s HipCityVeg are bumping up wages to $15 an hour. A restaurant in Ohio is offering a special “pandemic pay” package for new workers. Pennsylvania convenience store chains Sheetz, Wawa and Rutters have all announced hourly wage increases and “summer stimulus” programs.