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Industries hit hardest by the pandemic request action from the state to help with staffing issues

The Ohio Restaurant Association says sales are doing well, but question how they can serve people without employees.

OHIO, USA — Business owners are calling on the state to do something about their lack of staff. 

Sales are doing well, but they're wondering how they're supposed to serve their customers without employees.

It's hard to miss signs at local businesses looking to hire, or others which say they have to close early because they don't have the staff.

But it could be worse, when some places aren't open at all. 

"Labor is a pinch point right now for businesses and entrepreneurs. The extent of that really depends on the industry that they're in. Certainly as you can imagine, restaurants, retail, any business, daycare, any business that was forced to close down during the pandemic," said Wendy Gramza, the president and CEO for the Toledo Regional Chamber of Commerce.

For places like Schmucker's Restaurant on Reynolds Road, they know times are tough. 

"Something we're experiencing here in Ohio and here in Toledo is a shortage of staff. Just this morning we had three parties come in for breakfast saying that their other three locations were not open with signs on the door. Closed due to staff shortages," said Doug Schmucker, the owner of Schmucker's Restaurant

Schmucker's a member of the Ohio's Restaurant Advisory board and he says he's posted several help wanted ads, with no luck. 

The Toledo Regional Chamber of Commerce says businesses can only do so much, and they need a little help. 

"A policy solution or at least a partial solution to labor shortage would have to come from our federal government, from unemployment. Could come from our state, in terms of unemployment benefits," said Gramza. 

In fact, several states have eliminated a portion of the pandemic unemployment benefits. 

On May 23, Ohio will implement a new rule for those out of work.

"Ohio decided to require employee that if you're on unemployment, you at least have to go out and try to secure employment. You have to go out and interview and do those kind of things and I think that will bring people back into the market place," said John Barker, the president and CEO of the Ohio Restaurant Association

Schmucker says lawmakers need to make changes and make them quickly. In fact, he says for business owners like him, they can't make them quick enough.

The Toledo Regional Chamber of Commerce says you can reach out to them if you're in need of advice. 

That's even if you need to talk to someone about loans, or hiring. 

They said you should also ask other businesses in your area what's worked for them.