VB business owner hopeful staffing shortages will improve as unemployment benefits come to an end

Southeast Region

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — Sunday had the perfect weather weekend to signify the end of summer. Locals and visitors flocked to the oceanfront to soak in the sunshine. 

Some of them, participating in the last Heineken Rock ‘n’ Roll Virginia Beach series half marathon.

Around the corner off 19th street, Three Shipps Coffee Roasters was bustling with business Sunday morning as runners looked for some post-marathon relief.

“Busy weekend, excited to have people in town seems like kind of the summer winding down,” smiled the owner Brad Ewing.

Ewing says business has done so well he’s trying to expand to the Hilltop area of Virginia Beach. But there’s one catch– finding the kitchen staff to make it happen.

“In the month of August, we have a 20 person staff and we lost 8 people,” said Ewing.

With unemployment benefits from the pandemic ending for millions this weekend, he’s praying for a bigger hiring pool.

“I’m hopeful for it, right now our staff is filled with a bunch of leaders, and I think we really do need role players,” states Ewing.

His coffee shop is one on an endless list of businesses that are short-staffed. Ewing says if things don’t change, he may have to increase pay to be more competitive.

“The prices will have to increase to increase the wages and that’s just the way it works,” he said.

Though covid-19 has put obstacles in their path of expanding,

Ewing says with the support of the community anything is possible.

“The wheels were turning before Covid and we sort of picked up the pieces and are trying to make our vision come to fruition anyway,” said Ewing.

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