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7.13.21 – THV11 – LITTLE ROCK, Ark.

As businesses start to reopen, more and more businesses are dealing with a shortage of workers. To counteract that, some have turned to incentives to entice potential employees.

“We’re actually lower than expected as far as the number of personnel on board,” Eliecer Palacios, owner and operator of McDonald’s at University Ave. and Markham Street, said. “So we’ve been struggling quite a bit this year.”

For Palacios, employees are a must. He’s not the only one, either.

“Not only McDonald’s, but other businesses of this sort are actually struggling getting people in the door,” he said.”

As more businesses start to reopen, it’s becoming clear this isn’t just an issue for Palacios.

“It’s not new, it indicates how widespread it is,” Randy Zook, the President and CEO of the Arkansas State Chamber of Commerce, said.

He says these shortages are statewide, and that businesses of all types are experiencing them.

“Companies are just having to do everything they can and that’s what it’s taken,” Zook said. “Everything they can do to get people back in.”

When it comes to solutions, there isn’t just one answer.https://www.youtube.com/embed/Y33deGInZDI

“I’ve heard of several companies that are offering cash to come on back and get back in the job,” Zook said.

Extended paid time off, cash bonuses, and in the case of Palacios – child care.

“The intent is to be able to support them in some way, by really partnering with local childcare services, and be able to help our employees in that way,” Palacios said.

So while these issues and the incentives were brought on because of the pandemic, Palacios says they’ll do whatever they can to keep employees around and happy.

“All of these benefits are going to be focused long term,” he said. “So this is not something that we’re just doing it for today, and because of the pandemic, but really longer term.”

Because without them, business doesn’t happen.

“This is something that has changed us all, and really, I believe, it’s for the better,” Palacios said.