Local businesses struggling with understaffing

Businesses across the country are struggling to find employees, including many local businesses...
Businesses across the country are struggling to find employees, including many local businesses in the Shenandoah Valley.(WHSV)
Published: Jun. 22, 2021 at 6:04 PM EDT|Updated: Jun. 22, 2021 at 6:34 PM EDT
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HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) - Businesses across the country are struggling to find employees, including many local businesses in the Shenandoah Valley.

“Before COVID I was getting 10, 12 applications from qualified people every month and I could pick who I wanted to hire, now I probably get two every month,” said Brenda Freykar, manager of Ciro’s Italian Eatery in Elkton.

Ciro’s is just one of the many local businesses facing this problem, as understaffed businesses have struggled to meet consumer demand. While COVID restrictions have eased, many restaurants still can’t operate at full capacity.

“We may not always have all our full seating, you may just have to understand that yes there is an open table right there, but we only have one or two bartenders on so we’re not willing to overwork them,” said Tommy Urglavitch, co-owner of Urgie’s Cheesesteaks in Harrisonburg and Bridgewater.

The problem isn’t unique to restaurants; Justin Rowling owns four small businesses in the home service industry and says he has had more business than his team can keep up with.

“We’ve even had to call some customers and basically put them on a list and say ‘hey we just don’t have the staff to get to you right away’,” said Rowling.

Rowling’s companies, Dirty Dog Carpet and Surface Cleaning, Handyman Pro, Maid Right, and 360 Painting, are looking to drastically beef up their staff.

“I’m looking to hire 20 to 30 people right now so there’s a lot of opportunity there, with Handyman Pro we’d like to hire 3 to 4 people right now, we’re looking for general labor as well as skilled laborers,” he said.

Some restaurants like Ciro’s have had to make big changes to deal with short staffing.

“We’ve actually had to close for the last 12 Sunday’s,” said Brenda Freykar. “We were a seven day a week restaurant before and due to the shortage in help we’ve had to close for three months on Sunday.”

Both Ciro’s and Rowling’s companies ask anyone in need of a job to reach out to them.

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