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Local businesses owners react to discontinuation of Covid-19 benefits

Business owners have been struggling since the onset of the pandemic, and now they want Missourians to get back to work.

Posted: May 13, 2021 12:07 AM
Updated: May 13, 2021 10:32 AM

(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.) For Tonya McCrea, the owner of East Hills Cleaners, keeping up with customer demand is tough.

McCrea's first issue is staffing shortages, she needs eight to ten employees to run the business, but during the pandemic she’s had as little as two.

She said her efforts to recruit new employees has led to her second issue. 

"In about two weeks I had about 15 calls from different people wanting to come in for an interview." She said. "The disappointing fact is, I had one person come in."

Low staff numbers coupled with low interest in open positions means hard times for McCrea’s business.

"We absolutely need help, and it looks to us as if nobody wants to work." McCrea said. 

Her situation isn't uncommon across town, the manager of the Fastgas Convenience Stores said she’s seeing a similar trend along with so many other local businesses. 

"We’ve had a very hard time staffing," Robin Caton, director of operations, Fastgas Convenience stores said.  "Very few applications coming through."

The frustration felt by this lead McCrea to vent on social media, she puts the blame on the state’s Covid-19 Unemployment Benefits

"I believe our country is becoming lazy because of this extra money!" She said.  "We can’t live on the government, nobody can."

McCrea said she’s not trying to make a political point, but just wants to see her business do well.  She and other businesses around town are hoping the end of filing benefits means the beginning of finding workers. 

"I hope that that brings us some good quality individuals that are looking for a good place to work and are ready to get back to work." Caton said. 

Covid-19 benefits are set to end June 12th. 

St. Joseph
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Most of today was sunny and dry with a few passing clouds. An isolated shower or two could develop late this afternoon in extreme northwest Missouri. Temperatures will continue to warm up on Wednesday with highs back in the upper 80s and lower 90s. Several rounds of showers and storms will return Thursday and Friday as a front moves through our area. A few storms could be on the stronger side or bring heavy rain. Temperatures will be back in the low to mid 80s for the weekend.
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