As you drive through many Bluegrass cities, one thing is clear, many businesses are in need of more workers.
“It’s been extremely difficult this year with the extended unemployment that they’re paying everyone, so people, they really don’t have a reason to go back to work," said Alisa Sugg, owner of Cafe on Water Street.
Governor Andy Beshear announcing on Monday the Bluegrass state will continue its participation in the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program which provides a $300 weekly add-on to recipients of unemployment insurance.
And days after the announcement, local business owners say that’s causing some to struggle to stay open
“In the last month, we’ve had to cut our hours here, because, you know, I’m short of employees, and we should be open until 8:00 p.m. here, and we’ve been closing at 4:00 p.m. just because we’re short of employees.”
Along with Cafe on Water Street, Rockhouse on the River, Tacoholic’s Kitchen, and Metzgers Tavern all reported having staffing issues as well.
The announcement comes as neighboring states have dropped their participation in the program, and Sugg hopes to see the Bluegrass follow in the footsteps of states like Indiana and Ohio soon.
“It’s not getting any better," said Sugg. "People are not applying. They have no reason to. I’m hopeful that he’s going to end this extra unemployment soon, because I think if that ends, then that will help people get back out into the workforce.”
Governor beshear did make it clear, in his Monday press conference, that the unemployment benefits will not last forever, but he’s yet to set a date on when they will end.