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Businesses fear lack of employees could inhibit incoming revenue from Masters

Published: Mar. 30, 2021 at 7:13 PM EDT
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AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - Blooming flowers and busy roads indicate only one thing in Augusta, Masters week is on the horizon.

With that comes patrons, customers, and most importantly, revenue for local businesses.

The rush of visitors for the upcoming Masters sounds like great news for our local businesses who’ve been struggling to make ends meet, but more people in town is actually causing some to worry.

Some are worried about all this traffic and the big crowds coming to their businesses because they simply can’t support it.

“Oh wow I mean it’s been, it’s been tough,” Peggy Schaffer, manager of Villa Europa, said.

And Schaffer isn’t talking about last year’s tournament having no patrons. She means not having enough employees to operate for this year’s tournament.

“I’m working short-handed and it’s tough and when you work short-handed, you’re not able to wait on the guest as well and they may not come back because of that so it’s a double-edged sword,” she said.

And it’s something that she says is happening all around the CSRA.

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“I hear that businesses can’t find good employees, loyal employees, somebody that wants to stay, so I hear that everywhere,” she said.

According to a local workforce study, there are nearly 500,000 potential working adults in the CSRA but only half or more are employed.

Michael Frazier is the CEO of Peak Talent Capital Solutions.

“With the unemployment rate the way that it is and with extended unemployment benefits you have to work a little harder now than you ever had before to locate that talent you need,” he said.

But for Villa Europa, they hope their 49-year history in Augusta will live to see the half-century mark later this year.

“We’re going to keep on keeping on and we’re going to try and keep moving forward,” she said.

Schaffer told us it’s almost ironic that we’re at the point where we are. She says her business has finally reached a point to get revenue but now can’t operate.

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