Downtown East Lansing businesses rely heavily on Michigan State University, its sports, clubs and other organizations.
Some businesses have hired more employees as students have returned to campus, although others are still having difficulties filling spots. This is driving up wages.
Student Bookstore employee Kitty Edwards said, “Sometimes we only have one or two cashiers, so we have been running around like crazy.” She said she works another job at Unicha Tea and Ice Cream which is also understaffed.
Omi Sushi employee Amber Wang said it has been tough to fill a schedule during the weekdays. “Our employees are mostly students, and they usually have classes during the day, and most of the time they can work only for dinner or the weekends,” said Wang.
HopCat employee Zoe Pritchard explained what they are doing to hire more staff. “We’re increasing pay and benefits. When the school year started, we definitely received a lot of applicants for the front of house like servers, bartenders, and hostesses, but our back of house still needs more positions filled.”