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Local businesses are experiencing severe staffing issues due to Covid-19

JACKSON, TN (WNBJ)-Now we’ve all heard of staffing shortages but how has it really affected people here in west Tennessee? Well, the Old Town Spaghetti Store has had to close their doors on Sunday's due to worker shortage.

“We didn’t want to, it’s just a labor issue that we had," says Bob Baudo is the owner of the Old Town Spaghetti Store. He was able to keep his staff through the pandemic but last year he lost workers who left for new jobs, “Once the pandemic was over with the factories started hiring and that caused a serious problem for the restaurant business as a whole…we lost about 4 or 5 people, key people.”

It's a problem, because often restaurants can't afford to pay what the factories do.

Baudo says he did everything he could to keep his employees, “Everyone had raises, we tried to accommodate everyone with hours.”

And now it's hard to hire new ones.

Baudo realized the shortage was putting a strain on his remaining workers, “Seeing that we were working and just arguing with each other and tired…we just had to give people a break.”

That’s when Baudo decided to make a change, "so, we decided, ‘let’s give that one day of the week, Sunday as a family day, as a church day so let's give them that day to enjoy themselves and relax.”

Baudo hopes that this change is only temporary, “if we can get our situation with our help squared away, i think we’ll be okay and we’ll reopen at some point.”

The Old Town Spaghetti Store is far from the only business experiencing a staffing shortage

West Tennessee Healthcare is also having issues.

“We had a record number of employees out this week who are either out with covid or they are quarantined for whatever reason and it’s creating some real challenges with our staffing," says Amy garner of West Tennessee Healthcare.

Garner says the Omicron variant, along with having hundreds of open job positions, has made this a very difficult time for Jackson Madison County General hospital.

She asks that people be understanding, “I would ask patience on behalf of our patients and families because it is tough.”

West Tennessee Healthcare and the Old Town Spaghetti Store - just two of the many businesses experiencing critical staffing issues because of Covid.

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