AUSTIN, Texas — Businesses are open and ready to hire across the Lone Star State.
However, some business owners in the service industry in particular say while they need more help, they cannot find serious candidates. Some are calling it a crisis.
Maria Siqueira and her husband opened Green Day Cleaning Services a couple of years ago.
"I love to help people to get better in their own life and the cleaning actually gave us the opportunity," said Siqueira.
They managed to stay open even after a big battle: small business versus the pandemic. Now they say they are struggling to find full time employees to help lighten their load.
"For them it's really better to stay at home and get the unemployment than actually work, even if they will get a little bit more money," said Siqueira.
Total unemployment payments in the Lone Star State since March 14, 2020 add up to $48 billion. That is both state and federal money.
Outside of unemployment benefits, COVID-19 concerns and even child care struggles could be preventing people from taking service industry jobs.
Siqueira says Green Day Cleaning Services is a fully insured and certified company. They run background checks and every applicant has to undergo a drug test. Those factors influence the price of service and employee eligibility.
Cisco Gamez with the Texas Workforce Commission says as long as someone is unemployed, he or she can continue to request benefits every two weeks.
"Texas Workforce Commission asks a series of questions," said Gamez. "Several questions to verify your eligibility. It may also ask you if you did work search requirements, so and for most areas of Texas, that's three. For some areas it may be less than that."
Gamez encouraged business owners like the team at Green Day Cleaning Services to seek their help.
"Definitely connect with your Workforce Solutions office," explained Gamez. "They are there to help you. They provide free services and they can connect you with job seekers, people who are looking for work. So it's a win-win for everyone."
Siqueira says they have reached out to hiring agencies and they are doing everything they can to survive.
"The local business is dying, so please guys, try to go local," said Siqueira, desperate to not become yet another business lost to the pandemic.