Staffing shortages force businesses to close in the Triad

Piedmont Triad News

HIGH POINT, N.C. (WGHP) — Paying people to get back to work.

There are two newly proposed bills, one federal and one on the state level, aiming to give people incentives to get off of unemployment and get back into the workforce.

In High Point, the owner of Amoroso’s Bakery told FOX8 this help may be coming too late for him.

“Never, ever have I ever worked at a place where there’s a shortage of people who wanted to work,” Ralph Amoroso said.

He just can’t find people to work for him.

“Over the past year, we’ve only gotten a handful of applications. We’ve tried all of the different social medias, advertising on the door, Facebook, Craigslist, Indeed,” Amoroso said.

He has a skeleton crew at his two bakeries.

“We would have anywhere between 22 and 24 employees, and now we’re down to 11,” he said.

That’s why Amoroso has made the difficult decision to close his flagship shop in High Point, and solely operate out of the Greensboro location.

“We’re not closing down because of lack of sales. We’re strictly closing down because we don’t have the people to man it. That’s unusual. It’s really strange,” he said.

A strange situation that’s being seen all over the state and country.

On Tuesday, North Carolina legislatures began making efforts to pass a bill that would award people up to $1,500 for getting off unemployment and securing a job.

“When you look at the state legislature, they see it here in North Carolina and we see it federally. There are 8.1 million job openings in this country,” U.S. Rep. Ted Budd said.

Triad-native Budd proposed a similar idea, but on a national scale.

“Mine is the Back to Work Bonus. What it does, is it takes three weeks of the unemployment benefits, which is $300 per week, and instead, it’s a one-time $900 bonus to get back to work,” he said.

With everything now reopening, there’s more demand at restaurants, hotels, and businesses.

But business owners can’t hire enough employees to serve customers.

Budd told FOX8 it’s a problem they can’t afford not to fix.

“The engine of this economy is mom and pop shops. That’s where 80 percent of jobs are created and we can’t let them go under,” he said. “We got to tell people, let’s get back to the workforce.”

“I would like to see [businesses] coming back. I would like to see this help, I’m just not sure if it will,” added Amoroso.

Amoroso told FOX8 he would need six more employees to keep his High Point location open.

He said nowadays, that’s pretty much impossible.

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