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Staffing Shortage A Nagging Issue For South Lake Tahoe Businesses As Tourism Ramps Up

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE (CBS13) – More customers and tourists in the South Lake Tahoe area have been a welcome sight as California nears its reopening amid the pandemic.

Things may be getting better, but there's still a big problem nipping at the heels of business owners like Barbara Parina.

"I'm looking for people and I can't find one person to work," said Parina, who is the owner of Sidestreet Boutique.

The short-staffing is taking a big toll on Parina and her employees.

"I usually stay open until eight and I have to close at six. And I'm working 24/7 myself because I can't find anybody to work," Parina said.

She isn't alone.

The manager at Blue Dog Pizza in Tahoe said they're also having to made adjustments.

"We had to shorten our hours and close in our delivery area because we don't have enough staff," Annalise Hubberts, manager of Blue Dog Pizza, said.

The Tahoe Chamber of Commerce's CEO Steve Teshara told CBS13 that other restaurants and stores are having to work their employees overtime due to the issue or have to adjust hours to not burn them out.

Tehsara is reminding that people visiting Tahoe should be mindful of their tough times.

"People come expecting a certain level of customer service, and we're just asking people to be patient, to be kind when you go into a business," he said. "Everybody's a little short."

The issue is leaving people like Parina with little-to-no choice if they can't find anyone to work.

"You just have to close at six and see what we can do. We are just trying to make up a year that we lost nothing but money," Parina said.

Teshara also told CBS13 that another factor playing a role in the staffing shortage is affordable housing. Other businesses feel that unemployment payments are also swaying people from not returning to work.

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