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Light at the end of the tunnel for Bismarck businesses

Updated: May. 29, 2021 at 7:53 PM CDT
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BISMARCK, N.D. (KFYR) - North Dakota is one of many states seeing the light at the end of the tunnel after the pandemic.

Job openings are popping up across the nation and some Bismarck business owners say it’s a sigh of relief, while others say it’s creating some challenges.

“Hiccups Kids and Baby. How can I help you?” said Hiccups owner Anne Cleary.

Anne Cleary rings in her last customer of the day.

Clearly said her business survived the past 15 months through community outreach, PPP loans and modified shopping. But what made her experience unique was Cleary’s business opened three weeks before the pandemic was declared.

“You’re a brand new business and still trying to figure things out and you’re immediately having to pivot to like curbside pick up,” said Cleary.

She said she’s noticed a large increase in customers lately.

“This summer now, I think you’re going to see the opposite effect where coming downtown, getting to be around people safely and people are so ready for it,” said Cleary.

“Curt is coming in at 2, Bert’s already here,” said Laughing Sun owner Jared Shoults to manager James Eastin.

At Laughing Sun, more customers are coming back and events are resuming, including their first wedding ever in the restaurant.

“Normally this is the time where you see an up kick in the restaurant industry as well,” said Shoults.

What’s not normal is the amount of people looking for work.

“We just need a couple more part timers to fill the gaps but a lot more people are going out and it’s busy for everyone,” said Shoults.

Shoults said they’ll continue to look at the health situation but it appears businesses will finally have a chance to recover during the summer.

According to a Bloomberg report, fast food chain executives who employ millions of people across the country, said large unemployment benefits may be impacting hiring efforts.

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