Local businesses hope reduced federal supplements will bring employees

LaGrange Bureau

LaGRANGE, Ga. (WRBL) – Businesses in LaGrange are eager to hear that Georgia will be joining 12 other states that will no longer offer $300-a-week federal supplements to unemployed people. Two locally- owned restaurants, Cart Barn Grill and Gus’s Grill, have been struggling to find employees. Employees at both establishments have been working around the clock.

“I hope it’ll get people off their butt and going to work. Some of my other restaurant buddies can’t open up their dining rooms because they don’t even have enough help to open up their dining rooms right now. Hopefully they can get help and open up their dining rooms as well,” said Shawn Bishop, Owner of Cart Barn Grill.

According to the Georgia Department of Labor, unemployment rates have dropped in the Three Rivers Region, that region includes Troup County. In April 2020, the unemployment rate in the Three Rivers Region was 13.2%. As of March 2021, that number has dropped to 4%.

Bishop had to close his restaurant for two days due to insufficient staffing. He credits the lack of employment to the extra help being given by the government.

Gus’s Grill, another locally owned restaurant, has not closed its doors but is experiencing insufficient staffing. Business has been picking up and they have had help wanted signs up for about a month with little luck.

Manager, Joey Keres, believes the federal supplements are helping those unemployed but thinks the high demand for employees is also hindering his search.

“So many places that are hiring right now that that’s probably contributing to why we can’t find people which you know, but I know the unemployment does help,” said Keres.  

Both establishments are hoping to find more employees once the federal supplements from the government are pulled.

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