Cape Cod Businesses Struggling To Find Workers

Businesses on Cape Cod are anticipating a summer rush and are desperate for employees. WBZ-TV's Beth Germano reports.

Video Transcript

- Well, David also tonight, help wanted. Businesses on Cape Cod anticipating a summer rush are desperate for employees who right now aren't applying. WBZ's Beth Germano is live in Hyannis tonight, where Beth, businesses are just doing what they can to keep the doors open.

BETH GERMANO: Well, Lisa, it may be a rainy day on the Cape. But the sun is shining on the businesses here on Main Street in Hyannis. Tourists and visitors are returning earlier than usual with pent up demand to get out and travel. But now the worry is meeting that demand.

FELIS BARREIRO: And so we do all these little private events.

BETH GERMANO: Business is back and strong for Alberto's restaurant in Hyannis. But owner Felis Barreiro worries he won't have enough staff to meet the demand.

- Here you are.

- Thank you.

BETH GERMANO: Wait staff, line cooks, he needs at least 15 more employees or may have to alter the menu and his hours. We may have to figure out if we're going to close for lunch or stay open. If we don't have enough staff, I'll probably have to offer the hours we'll be open.

- This is your first time here? Or--

- It is.

BETH GERMANO: And it's all in the family at Mrs. Mitchell's Gift Shop in Hyannis. Owner Lynn Mitchell's only employees right now are her children working double shifts.

LYNNE MITCHELL: Not sure what all the components are why the kids aren't coming in to apply. But we really haven't had anybody.

BETH GERMANO: Nobody coming in to apply locally.

LYNNE MITCHELL: Nope, not one person.

BETH GERMANO: And there's plenty of stock to unpack at the store which opened a month early because so many visitors are returning. For the Cape, it's now two sides of the coin.

WENDY NORTHCROSS: It's almost like a perfect storm, good business coming at us very quickly, and kind of the scramble to make sure we're fully stocked up.

LIZ LOVATI: Just had these made.

BETH GERMANO: Never before has Liz Lovati had to close on Wednesdays. But she has to give workers at her Provincetown market and restaurant Liz's Cafe some time off. She needs employees and fast.

LIZ LOVATI: Business is really exploding here. It's a little early for it to have been so busy.

BETH GERMANO: For Lovati and many employers, overseas workers aren't getting visas approved fast enough. And finding housing for seasonal workers is difficult.

LIZ LOVATI: We've always been able to secure housing in some fashion. And it's taken its toll this time.

BETH GERMANO: In fact, the Cape Cod Chamber of Commerce says many rentals and accommodations were fully booked back in January and February. And many of these jobs go to as many as 3,000 overseas workers. So the help wanted sign is definitely out. Reporting live from Hyannis, I'm Beth Germano, WBZ news.

- Beth--