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Staffing shortages: Virginia Beach Town Center looks for workers ahead of summer business season

In late May, about 20 businesses in Town Center were looking to hire more people to work.

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. — Town Center is a spot both Virginia Beach locals and tourists love. 

From small, local restaurants to national chain outlets, an evening shopping there has something for everyone. 

Businesses had to adapt for the coronavirus pandemic, which meant cutting back on capacity (and sometimes, laying off employees or shortening business hours). 

Now the restrictions are starting to lift, which means businesses can operate closer to the "old" normal. 

However, many of the Town Center businesses are facing a new challenge. They can’t find workers. 

“I know Bravo is hiring, Cantina is hiring, it seems like everyone is. Staff is needed. We aren’t alone,” explained Giorgia Maciel.

Maciel works at Quirks. She’s knows firsthand what it’s like to be short staffed.

"It’s been really hard," she said. "A lot of long hours and long weeks.”

On Wednesday, about 20 business in Town Center were looking to hire more people to work. Business owners and managers say the problem is: no one is filling out applications.

Susan Kelly is the general manager at Taste. She said her staff was working hard, but she needed to hire six to ten more people.

“We are just looking to get some new members to join the team to help me lighten the load,” she explained.

Kelly is looking for sales associates, sandwich makers as well as food preppers. If she hires enough people, she said she's thinking about expanding the hours at Taste in Town Center.

“Right now we are 10 to 3, and that was to accommodate strictly our lunch, but we would love to open in the evening hours, and if I could get people to join the team, we are on it," Kelly said. "We will be open for everybody."

Kelly said if you want a job, there are plenty of spots looking for workers.

“We are waiting for our neighbors to come back in the workforce full-force," she said. "Everyone is a team around here, looking for good people so that we can make Town Center alive again."

Here's a list of the places hiring in Town Center: