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Indiana small businesses raising wages to address staffing shortages
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Indiana small businesses raising wages to address staffing shortages

Staffing shortage forcing Indiana small businesses to adjust

A now hiring sign at a Hammond business is shown.

Small business owners in Indiana say they're still having trouble finding workers, despite increases in wages.

About 22% of small businesses in Indiana said they are coping with a significant staffing shortage, while 18% are experiencing a moderate shortage of workers, according to the National Federation of Independent Businesses Research Center.

About 19% of business owners surveyed said they were suffering a major loss of sales opportunities because of a lack of workers, while 30% reported a moderate loss.

About 67% of Indiana business owners said the staffing shortage was just as bad as it was a month ago, according to the NFIB survey.

“This survey shows that small business owners here in Indiana aren’t out of the woods yet,” said Barbara Quandt, NFIB senior state director in Indiana. “The latest problem our small business owners are facing is supply chain disruptions. Add on the challenge job openings and trouble finding qualified workers to fill those positions, and it is clear that small business owners are still grappling with the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Advance Auto Parts is making a priority of hiring people with disabilities at its warehouse in Remington and plans to roll out the program to all its stores in Northwest Indiana. The national car parts retailer has 18 Advance Auto Parts and Carquest stores in Lake, Porter, LaPorte, Newton and Jasper counties and a distribution center at 3568 U.S. 24 in Remington.

About 48% of small employers in the Hoosier State said they've been getting fewer job applications than a month ago, while about 39% are getting about the same number of applications.

A total of 63% of small businesses in Indiana that took part in the survey said they have increased wages in response to the worker shortage, while 15% offered referral bonuses and another 15% enhanced health care bonuses. About 13% offered or improved hiring bonuses.

About 41% of business owners surveyed in Indiana are offering more hours to part-time employees, while 60% are offering full-time employees overtime, according to the NFIB survey. Nearly 80% of business owners said they're putting in more hours, while 30% have adjusted their business operation hours.

Go on patrol with Aaron Crawford, a Cpl. with the Lowell Police Department, as he speaks about joining the force, DUI enforcement grants, and police Jiu-jitsu training.

About 29% of business owners have turned to technological solutions to increase productivity, while 24% limited the variety of goods or services they sold.

A total of 77% of those surveyed said they got a Paycheck Protection Program loan in 2020 to keep workers on the payroll during the COVID-19 pandemic, while 86% already submitted a loan forgiveness application.

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Business Reporter

Joseph S. Pete is a Lisagor Award-winning business reporter who covers steel, industry, unions, the ports, retail, banking and more. The Indiana University grad has been with The Times since 2013 and blogs about craft beer, culture and the military.

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