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State of the State: Valley business owners speak on adjustments, hiring

Posted at 5:17 PM, Feb 23, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-24 00:44:55-05

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — A valley shop owner says she has been making adjustments to stay open and continue serving customers amid ongoing economic recovery from the coronavirus pandemic. This comes as Gov. Steve Sisolak touted the help small businesses received during the pandemic.

“Things have been on a roll. We’ve been in a period of pivoting and transitioning," said Leteisha Morgan, co-owner of DoMazing.

Morgan says foot traffic has been up and down over the past 11 months.

“We’ve had some really good months, especially during the holidays, and we’ve also had some slow times with things still being uncertain at times,” she said.

Selling edible cookie dough, the pandemic forced the shop to permanently provide delivery and to-go services like cookies being pre-packaged.

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“It gave people the opportunity to do things at home, where they would normally just pick up and leave the store already baked," Morgan said.

In his State of the State address, Sisolak says $100 million was distributed to small businesses across the state and the unemployment insurance tax won’t see an increase for 2022. Morgan says this money helps.

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“The PPP money allowed us to move forward, but had they looked at it differently, it could have helped us in more ways than one,” she said.

She feels the distribution of money should have looked at the business as a whole rather than a specific time period before the pandemic, especially with a relatively new business like hers. That way the appropriate amount is given.

“Say you really have a great first six months, but you have nothing else backing up that six months. It’s like they’re only looking at one time period,” she said.

CraftHaus Brewery is the crown jewel for founder Wyndee Forest. She feels fortunate to be fully staffed.

“We do have two locations and a brewery, and we do have the 'cool factor,' where most people would like to work for a brewery because we can be fun and creative,” she said.

However, getting new workers despite only requiring a small staff did take some work.

“Where I could previously put up one post and I would get a stack of interested resumes. Now, I need to put out a few more posts,” she said.

Forest says there is still a labor shortage in the service industry with some people leaving permanently.

“People changed the industry they’re working for. A lot of people left the service industry because we were closed to begin with during the pandemic and those people needed to be employed and provide for themselves,” she said.

Forest is encouraged to hear that jobs are available. Sisolak said 94,000 jobs were created last year in Nevada. She says the governor and local businesses should encourage customers to buy Nevada-made products.

“Supporting local puts funds back into our community,” she said.

Those are funds Forest says can create revenue to help raise wages and attract new people into the industry.

“We can all look within and how can we make a difference in our own state,” she said.