(CBS DETROIT) – Good help is hard to find but keeping help around is even harder.

“Opening up the business is the easiest thing. It’s keeping employees and the things that you need to run your business is the hard part,” said Burger Grille Owner, Nicole Christian.

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Small business owners are thinking of creative ways to recruit employees in a time when jobs have not been so easy to fill.

“Bonuses, refer a friend, refer an employee and you get a bonus or referral fee. None of that is working,” said Christian.

Christian is rolling up her sleeves to keep her kitchen running at burger grille on Detroit’s west side.

She says since the pandemic hit it’s been a struggle to retain a full-staff.

“I have to close some days. Some days I just will post that we’re not open. The team that I have now is amazing. My cashier, my cook, I have a prep leader and then I also have myself that comes in when those deals shift. You know, I come in and I’m hands-on but it’s still just not enough,” said Christian.

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Employers say they believe many people are afraid to return to the workforce as COVID cases surge and unemployment continues to cut checks.

“When the pandemic came and that unemployment came it was like total shutdown. Nobody was coming in. Nobody wanted to work. Everybody was quitting, taking days off,” said Christian.

Owners are now finding themselves swinging shifts to maintain their businesses in the midst of what they call a worker shortage.

“Jobs are available everywhere. Being in the food industry I have a lot of colleagues that, they’re even looking and we’re open. Come in and you know fill-out an application. Join our team,” said Christian.

The Burger Grille is located at 15539 Schoolcraft near Greenfield.

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