Some local businesses struggle to hire and retain employees

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RAPID CITY, S.D. — Lots of jobs available, but there’s no one to fill them, and its having a major impact on local store and restaurant owners.

“Anyone else out there wondering what they are going to do to survive this lack of employees?” Asks Stacey Livermont, owner of Piesano’s Pacchia in Rapid City, in a recent Facebook post. She and her staff employees are running on fumes, as Livermont struggles to hire more people.

“Well usually I have about 17 people right now and we’re running on 9 and in the summer I carry about 25 people,” said Livermont. “And we have people working 70 hours 60-70 hours and I am ok with paying overtime after the 40 in a week but g’s 60 hours in a week is a lot for one person.”

Early in the pandemic, servers became drivers and delivery was expanded from just Omaha Street, to include all of Rapid City. The response was incredible, with an increase of an average of 12, all the way up to 52 deliveries the same day the news was announced. Unfortunately, finding help to keep up with demand is hard to come by, so Livermont has considered closing on certain days to give her staff a break. She says if her business hadn’t been doing so well, she wouldn’t even be able to consider closing an additional day. 

“I had 3 students that didn’t want to work during the spring break. I schedule them, they quit,” said Livermont. “So, it’s just and I say it’s a multiple of a lot of things it’s not just the generation or you know even people are saying the stimulus check, and it’s easy to get unemployment right now. It’s just a mixture of everything.”

As for the difficulty in hiring, Livermont says she doesn’t have many requirements for applicants, so that has not been a concern. She says she actually prefers hiring people new to the restaurant business because it gives her an opportunity to train them the way she likes. She is not the only business in town struggling though. 

Her Facebook post garnered responses from other businesses struggling to hire and keep employees. She has been fortunate enough to remain open with a small but dedicated team of employees, but not everyone has been so lucky. 

“I went to the mall the other day and I was looking around in the food court and most people that were working were a little older than me,” said Livermont. “And I just was sitting there thinking man is this what it’s going to come down to. We’re all gonna have to run our own place and work our….idk, it’s just a little different. I guess I‘m gonna work till the end you know, if it’s just me.”

Categories: Local News, South Dakota News