Business

A general store found a creative solution to the labor shortage: customers

Loyal patrons signed up for shifts to keep their local landmark in business.

One general store in Vermont has found a creative solution to the labor shortage.

Dan & Whits in Norwich, like many small businesses throughout New England, was having trouble finding help, according to Vermont Public Radio.

Long lines became a regular occurrence at the store, which had been in owner Dan Fraser’s family for three generations.

It got so bad, Fraser told The Valley News, that he missed a beer delivery because he was tied up at the register “with 20 people in line” and couldn’t pay for the beverages. Vermont law requires alcohol deliveries to be paid by check upon delivery.

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“The delivery guy said he was sorry but his hands were tied,” Fraser told the paper. The driver drove away with the beer.

Fraser was worried he might have to close down due to the lack of help. He was devasted, as were his regular customers. Instead of giving Fraser their sympathy, they decide to pitch in, according to CBS News.

Local residents from all walks of life — a doctor, a teacher, a psychology professor, and a therapist, to name a few — signed up for shifts to keep the store open, according to CBS.

Most of the new hires are donating their salaries to local charities, according to the network.

When asked why she stepped in to help, employee Dianne Miller told CBS that it was “because Dan & Whit’s is the heartbeat of this community.”

“That general store is the heart of this community,” Betsy Maislen told Vermont Public Radio. “It’s like a beehive. And all the bees are going in and out all the time. You need something? You can just pop into Dan and Whit’s. They have everything.”

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