Boston restaurateur laments “really slim” job market

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FILE – In this Jan. 6, 2012 file photo, the Boston city skyline is illuminated at dusk as it reflects off the waters of Boston Harbor. When the leaders of the U.S. Olympic Committee meet Thursday, Jan. 8, 2015, they’ll be deciding on more than a city to put in the running to host the […]

BOSTON (SHNS) – The hospitality and food service industries have been ravaged by the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, and some businesses continue to face major staffing challenges as they work to rebuild, according to one Boston restaurateur.

Nia Grace, owner and operator of Darryl’s Corner Bar & Kitchen in Boston and co-founder of the Boston Black Hospitality Coalition, said during a Tuesday panel discussion that her restaurant is “reeling in terms of employment.”

“We lost jobs and lost employees,” Grace said. “The market is really slim in trying to find really good help to bring your business back, and sometimes, we’re having to forego opening, all because we don’t have the staff.”

From February 2020 to February 2021, the leisure and hospitality industry in Massachusetts lost 115,500 jobs, or about 30 percent of all positions, according to the latest data from the Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development.

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