Maine small businesses struggle with worker and supply shortages as they face surging demand

Cory Hutchinson planned to cut peak summer operations from seven to five days at Funtown Splashtown USA when it reopened in May, and even then he did not know if he would have enough workers to run it.

To his surprise, one of Maine’s largest water and amusement parks has attracted enough workers to run all week, but at reduced hours because it still is not yet up to its full workforce. Like other Maine businesses, the park is contending with widespread labor and supply shortages amid high demand from visitors. Both are major hurdles as consumers unleash pent-up demand for purchasing and entertainment.

The Saco park reflects the experiences of other small businesses in the nation. More than half of U.S. small business owners expect disruptions in the supply chain to continue to affect their operations for five or more months, and 40 percent are still experiencing moderate to significant staffing shortages, a new survey by NFIB Research Center found.

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