Local businesses fight to keep doors open amid pandemic

Published: Jan. 14, 2022 at 6:42 PM EST
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AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - Getting employees and keeping them. This is what many of our local businesses say is still one of their biggest challenges.

We talked to owners who say they were hopeful 2022, but so far, it’s not off to a great start.

Some owners say they’re fighting for their lives.

It’s a welcomed sight for Jennifer Tinsley, the owner at Field Botanicals.

Customers continue to support her business during another COVID surge.

“With the omicron variant out there it’s been challenging,” said Tinsley.

This is her way of describing the pandemic as a business owner.

“I can’t say that on tv, I don’t think, but it’s been frustrating,” she said.

Two years having to adapt to change.

“It’s just been fluctuating and just like everyone else we don’t know what’s going in the next few months, so we just kind of have to roll with it,” she said.

Other businesses like the Bee’s Knees and The Hive, along with Doughboys Pizzeria are seeing similar hurdles.

“Small businesses are hurting everywhere,” said Jeremiah Bozeman, owner of Doughboys Pizzeria.

Employees are in short supply as COVID takes its toll and COVID test results are delayed.

The good news is health officials are hoping that this spike in omicron will start to peak toward the end of January, and then go down quickly.

“At least the last year and a half has been a skeleton crew. Everywhere you go and ride down the road there’s help wanted signs everywhere and we’re no different,” said Bozeman.

Friday nights used to be standing room only.

“It’s been pretty slow,” he said.

Now, he says they’re fighting for their life.

“It’s week to week. Can we stay open? Do we have to close? What can we do?” said Bozeman.

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