Manitoba Daily

Saturday, February 24, 2024

Staffing issues affect Manitoba’s cottage sector

Staffing shortages have impacted Manitoba's cottage area.

Key Takeaways:

  • In addition to swimsuits and sunglasses, visitors are encouraged to pack their patience before departing for Gimli for the summer.
  • She is uncertain why the Interlake community is having trouble filling employment, despite having heard anecdotally that fewer university students are enrolling this summer.
  • Buhler claims that visitors to Gimli have been understanding and patient this summer, and she expects that trend will continue during the festival this weekend.

Visitors are advised to pack their patience as well as swimsuits and sunglasses as crowds of people set out to Gimli for a summer vacation.

According to the Gimli Chamber of Commerce, certain businesses may experience slower service and shorter hours due to a staffing shortage this summer.

The Icelandic Festival of Manitoba, which begins on Friday and draws hundreds to the lakeside village, is starting at the worst possible time.

We are nervous about the weekend, says Cheryl Buhler, owner of Gimli’s Robin’s Donuts and co-chair of the Gimli Chamber of Commerce, “I’d like to say no, that it’s good, that it’s all under control, but still the truth of the matter is yes, we’re fairly anxious about the weekend.”

“We’re serving you with joy on our faces while doing our best, and we want you to be here.

Just be patient; we’ll get to you as quickly as possible if you see a line.

According to Buhler, a survey of chamber firms conducted at the beginning of the summer revealed more than 100 open positions as the busy season approached.

Although she has heard anecdotally that fewer university students are entering this summer, she is unsure why the Interlake community is having problems filling positions. However, she is aware that the issue is widespread.

Since the COVID-19 limits were loosened, businesses all around Manitoba—indeed, the entire country—have reported having problems hiring new employees.

The restaurant sector in Canada was particularly hard struck by two years of closures, numerous layoffs, and strict capacity restrictions. Across the nation, 13,000 restaurants closed their doors forever.

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Workers left the industry in droves as a result of the scenario because they were looking for jobs with more stable pay, changing careers, or returning to school. During the epidemic, Canada also received fewer immigrants, some of whom found employment in the restaurant sector.

Currently, the problem is made worse by Canada’s record-low unemployment rate, which, according to Statistics Canada, reached 5.2% in April.

In Gimli, according to Buhler, the chamber aimed to recruit Ukrainian refugees this summer to fill some open positions by providing two months of free lodging and food as an incentive. However, Buhler claimed that businesses are still struggling to find employees.

She claims that no businesses have had to close due to personnel shortages, but many, including her restaurant, have cut hours to survive.

We simply require additional people, she stated.

Smile Thai Restaurant proprietors, located down the street from Robin’s Donuts, say they count themselves fortunate.

Despite keeping their work cut out due to shortages, Glen Sikorski and Thaikan Phanad claim they have come up with a clever solution – they are using Gimli’s image as a haven for aspiring pilots.

Despite the difficulties, Sikorski says most businesses are glad to be back. “We’ve had at least four or five young Thai people come to Gimli to learn to fly, so news gets around, and they all work at the restaurant while they’re learning to fly aircraft,” he says.

Gimli’s businesses feel relieved that the difficult portion of the epidemic isn’t happening right now because it has strengthened their operations.

According to Buhler, Gimli visitors have been patient and understanding this summer; she hopes that trend continues through the festival this weekend.

They can see a line when they go for ice cream. It’s nice that they’re interacting with one another and being considerate of the servers.

“We’re prepared for you, and we’ll do everything in our power to ensure that you have a fantastic experience in Gimli,”

Source: CTV News

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