Suncoast businesses hoping to fill many of the available job openings soon

Many jobs available in Sarasota and Manatee Counties.
Many jobs available in Sarasota and Manatee Counties.(WWSB)
Updated: May. 6, 2021 at 8:55 PM EDT
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SIESTA KEY, Fla. (WWSB) - Gov. Ron DeSantis says this month will be the last month that Floridians can collect unemployment benefits without looking for a job. The governor saying that anyone who has been collecting unemployment will soon have to show proof they are actively looking for a job.

And jobs are out there in abundance. “We are trying to hire people here, all locations and all positions for sure,” said Mike Granthon, owner of Above the Bar Hospitality Group.

Up to 30 positions at seven locations, to be exact. Granthon tells ABC7 the demand for his current workers is tremendous.

“We’re quite busy this time of year and finding people to cover every shift is definitely a difficult task for us,” said Granthon. “We have people working overtime.”

Granthon says they post their job openings online. Now hiring and help wanted signs could be seen at businesses throughout Sarasota and Manatee counties. These are for all types of jobs. One Sarasota woman who wanted to remain anonymous says she’s been out of work for a year now. She says she is now looking forward to getting back to work.

“It’s been a real struggle but I’ve been very nervous about getting out there,” said the woman. “However, since vaccinations are underway, I’m feeling a little more confident and maybe the tide is turning and it’s time to get back to work.”

Many people we talked with say those who are on unemployment should always be on the hunt for a job. Business owners say they are hopeful they can fill these openings very soon.

“I can tell you right now, a lot of my staff, whether it’s the front of the house or the back of the house, they’re making a lot more money than they would be if they were sitting home at this time,” said Granthon.

ABC7 also did talk with one of the owners from Sharky’s on the Pier restaurant in Venice. He tells us their workforce is down by around 20%.