‘Double Duty’ For La Grange Business Owners

‘Double Duty’ For La Grange Business Owners

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LA GRANGE, IL — Like their counterparts around the country, La Grange business owners have struggled to fill positions in the last few months, a business leader said Thursday.

“I can’t think of a business owner who is not looking for help,” Nancy Cummings, executive director of the La Grange Business Association, said in an interview. “They are scrambling to fill positions. It’s really exhausting for them because they’re trying to fill positions while picking up shifts.”

Earlier this month, La Grange’s Steak + Vine closed for a day because of a labor shortage. Other local businesses have changed their hours because of the issue, Cummings said.

The business association is upgrading its website to make it easier for local businesses to post job openings, she said. That change is expected to take effect in a couple of weeks, she said.

In her decade as the executive director, Cummings said the latest trend is new for her.

“I’ve never seen this before. Business owners are doing double duty,” she said. “The community at large has been very supportive of the small businesses, certainly in La Grange. We do find that people are trying to be patient if service is slower. They understand the uphill battle business owners are facing.”

Horton’s Ace Hardware and Monk’s Burgers and More, whose owners have other businesses, have both held job fairs to try to fill openings, Cummings said.

Nationally, experts have come up with different causes of the labor shortages. Among other reasons, some say people are staying out of the labor market until their expanded unemployment benefits end in September. Others contend workers are holding out for more money and better conditions.

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