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Staff shortages could have dire impact on Effingham Co. business

The nationwide shortage is having a major impact on businesses locally
Updated: Apr. 28, 2021 at 4:14 PM EDT
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EFFINGHAM COUNTY, Ga. (WTOC) - The past year has been anything but easy for MooMcGinn’s Magic Creamery in Effingham County.

“We were doing well until COVID. And then it just went downhill like, you know, everybody else, from there,” said owner Janet Wilson.

It got so bad that Wilson feared the worst.

“I really thought we were going to have to close at one point,” said Wilson.

But the ice cream shop survived. The celebration, however, was short-lived.

“It’s like once the customers started coming back, then the employee problem started. I don’t know which is worse,” said Wilson.

Typically, Wilson staffs nine employees at each of their locations in Springfield and Rincon. But right now, she only has six total. It’s a reality most have never seen before.

“This is almost unprecedented,” said Andrew Cripps, the CEO of the Effingham County Chamber of Commerce.

Cripps says businesses are being forced to take a new approach to hiring.

“They’ve got to compete for workers. They have to put the benefits of their workplace front and center,” he said.

It’s a competition that can be tough for small businesses like MooMcGinn’s, which doesn’t have extra room in the budget for big hiring bonuses. But both Cripps and Wilson agree there is a way you can help local businesses.

“Please be patient with the people who came into work and are serving you now.”

While Cripps remains hopeful that the end of federal unemployment benefits and even summer break will bring some relief, Wilson fears that if it doesn’t, she may need to close up shop.

“I don’t know what else to do. Worst-case scenario I have to close both stores and I really don’t want to see that happen,” said Wilson.

She said the past two weekends they’ve had to close their Springfield location due to short staffing. They have also changed their hours at both locations during the spring. If you’re interested in applying you can email them at moomcginnsjobs@gmail.com.

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