Workforce Shortage in Petoskey Causes Businesses to Close Temporarily

Petoskey businesses are short staffed, and the summer season still has yet to arrive.  

President of the Petoskey Chamber of Commerce Nikki Devitt said after all of the shutdowns and restrictions, it’s an important summer for the area. “What we’re seeing now is the concern is greater even then it was last summer because already job ads are staying open and they’re not being filled,” she said. 

Devitt said well over half of Petoskey businesses including almost all of those in the hospitality industry are short staffed, including Beards Brewery who will have to close for the next 10 days. “Cases in the area are spiking pretty heavily and pretty out of control and we had some staff exposed at an after hours event so at that point we’re already so thin that it’s kind of our only option at this point,” said Ben Slocum, owner of Beards Brewery.4 13 21 Petoskey Job Struggles 1

This is something Devitt said will become more common throughout the season. “So what businesses are going to have to do if they can’t fill those jobs is they’re going to have to cut their hours,” she said. “They’re going to have to close for certain days and that’s even before COVID exposures and quarantines with your staff.”  

The chamber will be holding two separate virtual job fairs on April 19th and 26th, but hardly anyone has signed up. “The concern is comes with that we have 35 businesses for each one and that number keeps growing every day that are looking at taking part and are seriously hiring right now and we have five job seekers that have registered,” said Devitt.  

The first virtual job fair is aimed at high school and college students, while the second virtual job fair is for anyone.