Lack of employees in Big Country small towns hurting local businesses

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CLYDE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – Throughout the pandemic, local businesses have experienced worker shortages. Two locally-owned restaurants in the Big Country say the lack of employees is straining their operations.

Alissa Ivanoski helped her mom open Cafe 79510 in Clyde right in the middle of the pandemic and says they have never had enough hands. When they opened they thought two people would be enough.

“It’s definitely a struggle when you’re short staffed… like me personally having to run back and forth is a struggle,” Ivanoski said.

They soon realized they needed more help.

“We definitely need more than 4 people to take tables… to take orders… make food and drinks so trying to find staff is super hard in a small town,” Ivanoski said.

Down the road, Maria Delgado is the owner at La Tejanita Burritos, a Mexican restaurant in Clyde. Maria is not seeing a problem with employees, she is having a problem with inventory.

“Staffing wise… I’ve been doing good with staffing… the only thing is our distributers… we’ve had problems… since they don’t have workers… so they don’t have all the products we need,” Delgado said.  

The director of business for Workforce Solutions of Central Texas, Robert Puls says the service industry was hit the hardest during the pandemic and is hoping just like Maria and Alissa that people are going to go back to work.

“We have jobs…in the last 90 days we’ve posted over 1000 jobs in our working Texas system…and there’s over 3000 job openings in the last 90 days… that’s how much employers are needing workers,” Puls said.

But despite the setbacks businesses are hopeful for the future.

“Hopefully everybody will get out there and get a job and start doing more work,” Delgado said.

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