Since the loosening of the pandemic measures in early summer and heading into the summer season, Palmetto State businesses are struggling with staff forced to operate with decreased working hours, while some local businesses were forced to completely closed because they couldn’t find workers.
South Carolina was among two dozen Republican-led states that decided to cut the federal unemployment benefits in June, earlier than their initial end date early September in an effort to help local companies with the workers shortage problem.
However, months later the problem is still widely spread and South Carolina local companies still face the issue, now afraid how they will keep up with the increasing working operations with the holiday season just to come in place.
One of the companies that faces this problem is Bubba’s Biscuits in Lexington who had to close earlier this weekend because they don’t have enough workers to run at their regular working hours.
Owner Arif Rizvi, along with his daughter, son, and loyal team serves Lexington every day but recently has faced some obstacles.
“We are competing with the whole costing issue right…sourcing issues to get the products in and now we are competing with where are the people?” says Rizvi.
According to the data provided by the South Carolina officials, the unemployment rate dropped for only 1 percent in July and August after the weekly federal unemployment aid was cut, not delivering the wanted results.
Yet businesses all over the state continue to struggle to find and keep employees.
“When you train someone a lot goes into it, and you have to double, even triple up on pay because you got to bring them on and they might not come back the next day,” Rizvi added.
With the problem still persistent, some restaurants are trying to hire workers offering them higher wages, but that additionally cause problems for small businesses that are still trying to get out of the crises caused by the pandemic.
“I just can’t afford to pay that- I can but instead of you paying six or seven bucks for a biscuit and gravy I would charge you twenty-eight dollars are eighteen dollars for a biscuit and gravy.”
Rizvi appreciates his loyal customers but encourages new customers not only at Bubba’s but at other restaurants across the midlands to remember…
“Please don’t take it to social media and say Arif was awful….give me a chance…I’m really here to help the community, help you, help myself and help my team members.”
They hope upcoming holidays will spur more people to seek jobs and help businesses continue to keep their doors open.