ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — It seems to be effecting every business.
School districts can not find enough teachers and bus drivers, hospitals can not find enough staff, and a local florist is now shutting down after more than 90 years because she said that it has been hard to find skilled workers.
The shortage is hitting every industry, which is why businesses are trying to get their staffing for the holidays now.
“You know, there is a lot of things but mostly right now, not with just us but everyone in the small business world, wages are going up, there is lack of people who want to work, come to work,” said Michelle Stocker, owner of Broadway Florist.
Stocker said that it was a hard decision to close since the shop has been a staple in the stateline since 1929.
“Learn the skilled labor to do some of these jobs, it has just gotten difficult as the days go,” Stocker said. “And, you know, we get busier and busier and need more people.”
Rising costs for supplies, products and wages are some of the reasons they are shutting down. However, like many other small businesses, Stocker said that it is the lack of staffing that tipped the scales. With the winter and holiday seasons approaching, many other businesses are trying to staff up.
“Heading into the month of September we had 2,500 temporary winter position available,” said Paul Wappel, public information officer for the Illinois Department of Transportation. “Like I said, you can make between $20-$21 an hour, you can make some extra money and it could end up leading to a full-time position.”
Wappel said that they are looking for people in all nine districts who have a CDL license to be a part of the “Snowbirds Program.” They would help remove snow and ice off of Illinois roads during the winter.
“We think it’s a win-win,” Wappel said. “We really need the help [to] assist our full-time highway maintainers throughout the winter.”
Stocker said that they are taking it one day at a time and are trying to sell what they can.
“So right now we are just trying to sell.. put everything on sale for 50% off, sell our Christmas, fall things and sort of liquidate what we have,” she said.
Broadway Florist will be open until mid-October. Those interested in the IDOT “Snowbird” Program can find more information on the IDOT website.