American labor crisis has hit all small businesses on this street

PITTSBURGH — It’s 4:30 in the morning and Raymond Mikesell’s alarm has gone off. 

Within an hour, as the first rays of pink and orange morning light reflect off the skyscrapers in the city, Mikesell is at his restaurant Café Raymond in the Strip District, the city’s Main Street for small businesses. 

Along the way he stops by the food terminals, hoping they will have the produce and stock he needs for the day. But he ends up having to turn away the beverage distributor at his own loading dock. 

“I ordered over $1,000 in bottled water, tea and drinks and he tells me he only has about $100 worth of the supplies I ordered for the day. It’s the third time this week this has happened,” said Mikesell, 55, shaking his head. 

And, as far as workers go, all he can do is hope that everyone shows up for their shifts and that maybe today someone will answer the ad he placed in March looking for servers. 


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