Steube Hosts Roundtable with Florida Restaurants and Businesses Struggling from Severe Staffing Shortages
VENICE, FLA. – U.S. Representative Greg Steube today held a roundtable with several of Florida’s small business and restaurant owners struggling with the recent staffing crisis affecting the post-COVID workforce.
“Florida’s economy is recovering in many aspects, but if we do not work together with our local partners to solve this staffing shortage, our reopening process will slip backwards and some of our shuttered neighborhood businesses may never reopen,” Steube said. “If any policies are incentivizing people to stay home instead of coming back to work, we must take a second look at our funding formulas and eligibility criteria for these extended unemployment benefits. The future of our state economy depends on it.”
Steube hosted the roundtable at Sharky’s in Venice with several well-known local businesses and restaurants like British Open Pub, Brew Burgers and Culvers.
The business owners shared their perspectives and obstacles in approaching the staffing crisis, with most citing the extended unemployment benefits as the primary reason for the personnel shortage.
A staffing shortage has been an issue across the 17th District and entire state as Florida has reopened at full capacity. While unemployment remains low, workers are unwilling to return to jobs, especially in restaurants. Due to the lack of workers, many restaurants in the area have been forced to further limit their hours, or even shut down completely.
The shortage follows the passage of President Joe Biden’s American Rescue Plan Act, which allowed unemployment benefits to be further extended. Senate Democrats have introduced legislation to again expand benefits and pay an additional $250 a week to gig workers.
Last Congress, Steube cosponsored legislation which would have ensured that those receiving unemployment benefits do not receive more than the amount of wages they were earning prior to unemployment. House Democrats failed to bring the legislation up for consideration.