“There are many obstacles to the recovery of New York’s economy post COVID 19,” said Assemblywoman Carrie Woerner. “What issues are impacting your businesses the most,” she asked the members of the Saratoga County Chamber’s Small Business Owners Council.
The Assemblywoman was recently appointed to an Assembly Workgroup on Transitioning the New York Economy after COVID. Each member of the workgroup was urged to talk with local small businesses and to report on their findings. The small business members on this call were unanimous.
“I cannot find enough people to hire,” said one business owner. “I have jobs that I haven’t been able to fill all year,” another said. “We know there are people who are unemployed but we just can’t seem to find them,” added one more.
According to the New York State Department of Labor, Saratoga County is one of just three counties with an unemployment rate below five percent. As of December 31, 2020, there were 5,300 Saratoga County residents who qualified as unemployed. Even in the worst days of the pandemic, Saratoga County had local firms that were hiring. The Chamber and our community partners identified those firms at the time. We shared this information via social media in an effort to connect job seekers with local employers who had jobs available.
The small business owners on this call with Assemblywoman Woerner came from a range of sectors of our local economy: health and wellness, construction, marketing, retail, restaurant, and hospitality. Three days later, the Chamber’s Human Resources Council met to talk about Veteran hiring practices. This group of local firms in the manufacturing, distribution, banking and technology sectors also shared with us how challenging it is to find people to fill local job openings.
One of the tools the Saratoga County Chamber of Commerce has is our popular online Saratoga County Job Zone. With the COVID 19 pandemic still challenging local employers, the Chamber is allowing every employer in Saratoga County to post their job openings on this site for free. The Chamber is constantly monitoring these job postings. We’re using social media to expand the reach of some of these job listings in an effort to help local firms with this challenge.
Visit www.saratoga.org and click Job Zone to learn more.
Written by Todd Shimkus, President of the Saratoga County Chamber of Commerce.