More than half of small Michigan businesses raise pay to attract workers

Per a survey by the Small Business Association of Michigan

Photo of Angela Mulka
Pictured is a business woman holding a "Now Hiring" sign in front of store.

Pictured is a business woman holding a "Now Hiring" sign in front of store.

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A survey, published last week by Small Business Association of Michigan, shows labor shortages remain a top concern for a majority of small businesses statewide.

Because of this, more than half of the businesses surveyed (62%) say they've had to increase wages to attract and maintain employees since the start of 2020.

For instance, The Amazing Deli, a restaurant that crafts made-to-order sandwiches located in Midland, has boosted its starting wage for employees since 2020, according to General Manager Kevin Haggart.

Haggart said that despite having to raise the starting wage a bit, the main challenge is getting people to work.

The worker shortage is most visible in food and retail businesses, according to the survey.

"We're hearing all over the place, and in nearly every industry, that increases, even very substantial increases in salaries are still not attracting many applicants in the work place," Brian Calley, president of the Small Business Association of Michigan, told WOOTV

The survey also asked small business owners their stance on the federal vaccine mandate.

It was revealed that owners oppose the mandate by a margin of 2:1, with nearly 30% in support and the majority (58%) in opposition and 13% of owners having no opinion.

“It’s not surprising that most business owners oppose the vaccine mandate, especially given the worker shortage,” Calley said in a press release. “This federal overreach threatens to make a difficult staffing situation even worse.”

The survey was conducted Sept. 10 to 17 and included 680 Michigan small businesses. Read the full results here.