We mentioned last week a problem we were seeing on the horizon from the Democrats’ so-called relief bill: small businesses struggling to compete with the government to get their employees back to work. Unfortunately, we’re hearing some stories of that playing out.
We recently spoke to Jan Henderson of Alliance Dairies, a dairy farm located just west of Gainesville, Florida. The dairy employs about 230 people, and produces roughly 12% of the state’s milk production. Alliance Dairies never laid anyone off during the pandemic, as it was deemed an essential business, and is now fortunately needing to hire more employees to keep up production.
But Jan says she’s been having difficulties finding new employees. She’s asking around the community and speaking with potential hires, but is finding firsthand that “folks are opting to stay home because the government is paying them enough money.”
Operating understaffed is hurting her business. “We see a dip in production, which means we didn’t make the milk that we should’ve from those cows, so it certainly has a negative impact on us financially.”
Jan has tried raising wages, offering attendance bonuses, and other incentives to encourage people to come to work. But Jan says with the option to stay home and get paid, the motivation “is dried up.”
“I am all for the mother who lost her job and has medical bills and this $1,400 is going to go a long way in helping her buy groceries. Amen. She needs the money,” Jan told us. “But for a lot of Americans out there, they still have a job. They’re still making the same amount of money.”
For Jan and the dairy, this is competition is “an added layer” they can’t afford given the tough nature of the job.
“It’s hard work, so we’re challenged already. But in our area, if people want to work, they can work.” Offering opportunities and jobs is something Jan and her company, as well as the area, should be proud of — not penalized for.