LACKAWANNA COUNTY, Pa. — Maggie Calpin says she doesn't sleep much during the holiday season. She'll spend almost all her time here at Nibbles & Bits, the candy store she owns in Dunmore. She's always looking to hire seasonal workers.
"I started seeing some of my fellow business owners with their struggling posts about hiring, and it scared me at first. 'What if we're in that situation? Oh, my God, are we in that situation?' I was telling my coworkers, 'How are we going to find people; nobody else can find anybody.'"
So it was a sweet surprise when the applications started flowing.
"This year, we're seeing kind of an increase in applicants, and we think maybe it's because people aren't quite as scared, and they're changing jobs or changing positions that they've been in for a long period of time," said Jason Pozniak, general manager at Nibbles & Bits.
At Montage Mountain in Moosic, the ski lifts won't be bare for long. the resort needs nearly 600 employees for the winter.
"We've actually been seeing a pretty good response," said Tyler Crawford, the director of resort relations at Montage Mountain. "Typically, we don't see people start to apply until later in what we call our off-season, a little bit closer to the start of the ski season. This year, it's been good. We're getting about five or six applications a day, and again, for this time of year, that's pretty good."
And people are returning to their seasonal jobs here on the mountain.
Crawford says remote work is playing in their favor, giving employees more flexibility to keep or pick up a part-time job.
"We've got, I'd say, between 80 to 100 percent retention this year for our seasonal staff from last year, and almost 100 percent retention from those working in the summer to the winter," said Crawford.
The staffing shortages may certainly prove to be a problem at bigger retail chains, but small business owners hope that might bring even more holiday business their way.
The owner of Nibbles & Bits is getting a second van to help with same-day deliveries, something you might not be able to count on with larger stores.