Northeast Ohio’s small businesses look for relief from worker shortage

Ohio will soon require those seeking unemployment benefits to prove that they are actively searching for a job.
Published: May. 11, 2021 at 9:12 PM EDT
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AVON, Ohio (WOIO) - Barry Bagels in Avon weathered the pandemic when their only real source of revenue was curbside service — a period of time that owner Jenny Carter called challenging and a learning experience.

But the challenge has continued even as the pandemic eases and business booms at their location in a plaza off of Avon Belden Road.

“We’re growing now so we’ve needed to bring in additional staff members, and it is super hard to find people,” Carter said.

The hope is that the recent announcement from the state that those who are applying for unemployment benefits will be required to prove that they are actively searching for jobs will help ease what appears to be a significant labor shortage.

Carter said that businesses must follow through and notify the state when job applicants do not follow through on interview requests or job offers, something she said has happened on multiple occasions as she has tried to hire new employees.

Just last week Carter had to close her store on a Monday and a Tuesday because she did not have enough staff to fill a large catering order and keep the store open at the same time.

“Customer service is so important to me, and I didn’t want to jeopardize that by being open and trying to accommodate all that,” Carter said. “I was being realistic. Unfortunately, we had to close our doors for two days.”

Carter is hopeful that she will soon be able to give her full time staff some time off, most of whom have been working long hours trying to fill in the gaps in the schedule.

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