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Nixa, Republic businesses facing labor shortages

Published: Sep. 13, 2021 at 2:17 PM CDT
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NIXA, Mo. (KY3) - Across the Ozarks, many businesses are having to close lobbies, and in some cases even the doors due to labor shortages.

Nixa Chamber of Commerce said it has been quite the experience watching things unfold after March of 2021.

“A lot of businesses are experiencing the labor shortages due to federal and state benefits that were available,” said Chris Russell with Nixa Chamber of Commerce. “We still are seeing challenges, we have lots of businesses in the community and across the Ozarks that are as well.”

The workforce shortages are not only happening in our area, but across Missouri and the nation.

The Nixa Chamber of Commerce is working with Christian County Links, an organization working with individuals with developmental disabilities.

“We have hosted seminars at the chamber office to help employ and promote more diversity and inclusion and are working with Christian County Links to help implement more workers into the workforce,” said Russell. “We have had several businesses that would benefit from this because they can’t physically get enough people to work.”

Chris Russell with the Nixa Chamber of Commerce recently attended an economic seminar through the state that brought more light to the labor shortage issue statistically.

“According to the recent U.S. Census, 58% of Missouri residents are 65+ with an 8% population decline in those under 25,” said Russell. “When you start thinking about the workforce it takes to work to run a small retail business or fast food restaurant you are looking at those younger populations to fill those spots. (There’s) also a 19% decline from 35-54 leaving the state.”

Restaurants in Republic are also facing the same issues. KY3 spoke with the manager of the Panda Express about his shortages and other problems it has caused.

“We are having a lot of trouble finding anybody, let alone qualified people, that meet our standards,” said James Ralston. “Our stores, not only in Republic, but Branson and Springfield are having to close their lobby and doors early.”

Ever since the pandemic it has continually worsened for Panda Express.

“We have tried increasing pay to $13 an hour and are doing anything we can to get more workers,” said Ralston.

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