Small businesses continue to struggle amid hiring and supply chain issues

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Small business owners continue to struggle with hiring and the supply chain crisis.

The National Federation of Independent Business reports 51 percent of small business owners have job openings that can’t be filled.

Ryan Marsh, the general manager of the Moxy Hotel, said he is having a hard time finding full-time workers at the front and back of the house.

“Trying to add on to our staff after regulations have lifted has been extremely hard to find folks lasting more than a month,” said Marsh.

In March of 2020, the Moxy Hotel hosted its grand reopening. Two weeks later, everything shut down because of the pandemic.

“It was very tough because we worked very hard to get the hotel open, and with the regulations, the shutdown, and everything, we had to lay off 90 percent of our staff,” said Marsh.

Marsh said it has been hard to bounce back ever since.

He is doing everything he can, like raising wages and offering hiring incentives.

Another problem he deals with is getting inventory like food, liquor, and high-quality supplies for his business.

“We’ve had to lower our standards just to get something in there, and it’s hurt us and hurt our guest experience overall,” said Marsh.

Marsh is also in the process of opening Front Street Deli, a new grocery store downtown.

It’s currently under construction, but he’s trying to hire workers as soon as possible.

Even though times are hard, Marsh remains optimistic. He believes things will get better with time.

“Everyone downtown really comes together, especially during this time, and I think that’s a great thing, to be involved in a small business in Memphis right now,” said Marsh.

Marsh said construction will be done on the Front Street Deli by the end of November or the beginning of December.

In the meantime, he’s looking to hire more workers and hopes it will be easier to find staff in the next couple of months.