WCPO: Small businesses face challenges

UC economics professor says companies have had to reorient how they serve customers

As businesses are squeezed by inflation, staffing shortages and supply chain issues, companies are having to adjust, a University of Cincinnati economics professor told WCPO.

Michael Jones headshot.

Michael Jones, PhD, associate professor of economics at the University of Cincinnati Carl H. Lindner College of Business.

"We're seeing companies having to reorient how they serve customers," said Michael Jones, the Kautz-Uible Professor of Economics in UC’s Carl H. Lindner College of Business. "Many restaurants are no longer open for lunch or they're just open for the drive-thru. That has been a characteristic of (the COVID-19 pandemic). I think that's going to continue."

During the pandemic, 1 million people left the American workforce, many of them opting for early retirement. Some companies have tried to lure back workers by offering work-from-home options and other incentives.

"That will cause some of those workers to come back," Jones said. "Although, I do think we've lost permanently several hundred thousand, even a million workers due to early retirement."

See more from WCPO.

Featured image: Interior view of the Lindner College of Business. Photo/Andrew Higley/UC Creative + Brand