Page 7 - BusinessWest April 28, 2021
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 Indeed, his company is one of countless businesses across virtually every sector of the economy that are struggling mightily to fill positions, even as unemployment remains somewhat high in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. There are many reasons for this imbalance between open positions and adequate sup- plies of qualified help, but the main culprit comes in the form of federal unemployment benefits, including a $300 weekly bonus that is part of the American Rescue Plan. These benefits, say area employers, are serving as a strong deterrent to putting people back into the workforce.
 Greg Omasta, right, seen here with his son, Chris, at the new Walsh Park in Springfield, says his company has responded to the ongoing challenge of finding workers by hiking wages above the average for this region.
“When you do the math, if you took a person making $20 an hour ... with their normal unemployment, they’d be getting $500 to $600 a week,” said Corrigan. “Throw another 300 bucks on top of it ... and why would you go to work for $20 an hour? It doesn’t make sense.”
Employers have been posing similar questions since the first stimulus-related unemployment benefits — complete with a $600 weekly bonus — were approved roughly a year ago. But the situation is even more precarious now, because the economy, after a slow to very slow 2020, depending on the sector of the
economy, is starting to rev up again. And just as companies are looking forward
to consumers going back out again and spending some of the money they’ve been saving over the past 14 months, businesses are being hit with pervasive hiring issues — and deep concerns about if and when the situation might improve.
As noted, the problem exists across the board — with landscapers, home-improve- ment companies, and pool installers; res-
 “It’s crazy
what’s going
it’s across the
taurants and banquet facilities; golf courses
  and local farm stands; manufacturers and
service businesses.
In response to the problem, employers have tried a number
of strategies — from sign-on bonuses to higher wages to rewards for referrals that lead to new hires. Meanwhile, most all forms of marketing for businesses in a variety of sectors now include ref- erences to looking for help, being a great place to work, or both.
For the most part, these strategies seem to be generating luke- warm results, with those unemployment benefits being just one
  Buying or Selling a Business During COVID-19: Unique Opportunities and Challenges
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