Thomas Jefferson

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Downfalls of Employee Shortages

Posted 11/11/2021 by Caitlin Quinney

Employee shortages have affected both Meg’s shop (Tony’s) and many small shops. photo courtesy of Google Maps

Employee shortages have become a great problem for small businesses due to the pandemic. 

Since our country began recovering from the deranged pandemic, employers complain that people are not returning to work. Many small business owners claim that it has gotten harder to find qualified workers to hire, compared to a year ago. One of those small business owners is Meg Williams, the owner of a small wine shop, Tony’s. This small shop is located in Centennial, behind Tony’s Market. The wine shop is a boutique that is home to a curated selection of wines of all varieties, from all around the world. Williams is a certified sommelier, a wine steward, who loves to share her passion for wine. Although recently, Williams has been experiencing a major shortage of employees around her shop and worries that this inconvenient shortage will not only be an ongoing problem, but may turn into one that society will have to pay the price for in the future. 

Williams points out the hardships she has faced due to employee shortages, one of which being, trying to manage the supply chain crises. Supply chain management is the management of the flow of goods and services between businesses and locations. This includes the production of goods starting from the raw components to the delivery of the final product to the consumer. Due to worker shortages in the supply chain industry, Williams has encountered many difficulties when trying to receive deliveries and products which “is a huge complication for us because [they] are so reliant on the supply chain and these issues complicate the logistics of most of our products, and overall change our profit at the end of the day.” 

Not only do these employee shortages all over the world affect her work life, but they also affect her personal life. Throughout the week, Williams spends the majority of her time in the shop because her “workload has increased a great amount” and she “had to alter [her] schedule so that [she] can cover weekend shifts as well.” Due to the decrease in help around the shop, Williams has had to alter her daily life around making time to cover shifts that would normally be taken by her employees. She also emphasizes that it is extremely hard to find workers that can fit the work schedule she needs because of “the limited hours that we offer and the concise part time opportunity.” It has been difficult to find people who are willing to stick around for the ups and downs that many businesses are experiencing at the moment. People also are not seeking out jobs because “they are getting unemployment [and] money from the government, but one way or another the available potential workforce out there has greatly decreased.” Individuals looking for employment at this time are taking advantage of the file for claim action to receive unemployment benefits. This slows the job search process, which impacts small business owners. 

The recovery for small business owners after the last year is indeed underway, but there is still a lot of progress to be made. As a small business owner, Williams worries for the future of not only her shop, but also the small retail stores of others.