Pleasure Island business owners hold networking event, talk staffing issues

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CAROLINA BEACH, NC (WWAY) — Pleasure Island business owners gathered together Wednesday night at the Sea Witch in Carolina Beach as they prepare for a busy season.

The Chamber of Commerce typically holds an after hours networking event monthly, but hasn’t been able to do so since the start of the pandemic.

Board of Directors Chair Debbie Elliott says Carolina Beach and Kure Beach fared pretty well during the COVID-19 pandemic thanks to vacationers.

Elliott and some business owners say many are now focusing on getting adequately staffed as summer 2021 approaches.

“I have heard and seen a lot of activity about hiring and trying to really staff up for our busy season,” Elliott said.

“We have a really great staff that’s been with us from the beginning so we’re feeling pretty comfortable, but a lot of my friends that own restaurants and have other businesses are hiring and struggling,” said Leeann Tluchowski, who opened Malama Cafe during the pandemic. “Several restaurants are closed for a day or two a week just to give their staff a break.”

Several elected officials were also at Wednesday’s event, and business owners got a chance to meet and discuss any issues they’re facing.

Elliott says the Pleasure Island Chamber of Commerce will be rebranding in 2021 with a new logo, tagline, and direction.

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