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Local Small Businesses Seek Higher Employment Rates

Sales at area small businesses are booming, but some need help behind the counter.
(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.) Small business owners in St. Joseph says sales are good, but they need some help behind the counter.

"We're always, always looking for good folks and always hiring. I've got a position open just about anywhere," said Marcia Hayes, Ground Round.

Despite the 48 people who currently work at Ground Round, Hayes said it is not much help when many are part-time.

"I maybe have 8 to 10 that are full-time," said Hayes.

Hayes says it is just the nature of the industry.

"Short shifts here. They want to work maybe four or five hours a day, you know, five or six days a week," said Hayes.

That seems to be the case for a lot of small businesses in the area.

"Do the math, that's about 30 hours a week, or less," said Hayes.

"We have part-time help now, which, this time last year we didn't," said Brian Myers, Co-Owner of The Lucky Tiger.

Missouri's small business employment rate dropped in February, not by much, but enough to stand out among other states.

According to the latest Intuit Small Business Index, cold weather may be to blame.

"Business is a little bit slower when it's cold, when it snows or whatever," said Hayes.

"When cold weather hits, people tend to slow down a bit, but they get a little store crazy after a few days, then want to come out and spend money," said Myers.

Myers said the cold has not stopped people from coming to his store looking for jobs.

"Probably two to three times week, we get somebody come in see if we're hiring. Even part-time," said Myers.

However, unlike Ground Round , they do not need the help, and don't plan to hire any time soon.

"As far as hiring any additional help, or giving more hours, it's probably going to be the same now as it was maybe five, six months ago, for the rest of the year," said Myers.

Employment rates were flat in February, except in a few states, including Missouri and Idaho, which decreased by less than one percent.

Eleven other states saw an increase in employment rates st small businesses. Kentucky saw the most growth.
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