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Area businesses hiring for the holidays
Many expecting an uptick in industry
Tim Roberts works in the kitchen of his restaurant, Two Dog Cafe. The holiday season has boosted the restaurant’s catering business. - photo by Tom Reed

Business may have been a bit sluggish during the year, but Tina Roberts says she can count on the holidays to give things a boost.

“We usually get a big kick in catering (orders) during the holidays,” said Roberts, who owns Two Dog Café on Spring Street in Gainesville with her husband, Tim Roberts.

“We always have (Thanksgiving and Christmas) turkeys on our catering menu, but this year we added sides, which turned out to be a good thing. They were priced reasonably and a lot of people chose to take advantage of being able to order them, instead of being stuck in the kitchen cooking themselves.”

Roberts’ isn’t the only business that benefits from a holiday sales boost.

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, during the last three months of each year, many retailers experience a substantial increase in businesses activity — so much that it often necessitates the hiring of additional staff. The home furnishings, electronics, clothing and sporting good industries are among those that typically experience substantial employment growth, the department reports.

The increase in retail sales typically goes hand-in-hand with an increase in sales for shipping businesses.

“We always hire extra staff during the holidays,” said Jimmy Kiser, manager of The Shipping Depot on Thompson Bridge Road.

“For our business, it’s our busiest time of the year. There’s no doubt that we see an increase in sales revenue.”

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, more than 16 billion cards, letters and packages will be shipped between Dec. 1 and Christmas.

Although there are signs of improvement as far as the economy is concerned, Roberts said she has noticed a few lingering issues.

However, it’s not a totally negative situation.

“We’ve seen a reduction in large parties — we usually do a lot of larger corporate parties, but those have gone to the wayside,” she said.

“Now, we’re doing a lot more in-house, smaller parties. Since we make everything from scratch, parties with 100 (guests or less) actually tend to work out better. If parties get too much bigger, you can’t help but go at least slightly commercial.”

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