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Staffing, labor prompt BTAA changes

| June 21, 2023 1:00 AM

Like many small businesses and nonprofits in the region, Better Together Animal Alliance recently announced a change in hours due in part to staffing challenges.

“With fewer applicants for positions, and team members leaving the area, we’ve made the decision to transition away from being open to the public seven days a week,” Mandy Evans, BTAA executive director, said. “We know that labor challenges in our region aren’t going away in the near future and we need to ensure the staff we do retain aren’t stretched too thin.”

To help cope with the challenging labor market, BTAA is now closed to the public on Sundays and Mondays, which are the organization's slowest adoption days. Limiting the days BTAA is open to the public allows the organization to operate with fewer staff on those days, focusing on animal care and enrichment while also not requiring the full staff necessary to provide public services and facilitate adoptions.

“Nonprofit organizations play a vital role in serving our community,” Evans said. “We’ve seen the toll labor challenges can take on other businesses and nonprofits and we’re doing what we can to mitigate the impact to our services.”

“This isn’t an isolated issue,” said Debbie Love, executive director of Bonner Community Food Bank. “The food bank has had to change our hours to accommodate the volunteer and labor shortages that many nonprofits are experiencing.”

Earlier this year, a survey from the Census Bureau stated that almost 50 percent of small business respondents said labor shortages and labor costs are their biggest concern. In addition, local economists have stated that higher rates of retirement, and an aging workforce with younger generations not growing fast enough to replace workers, is a large factor in our country’s labor shortage. This issue is projected to last for years to come and demands that businesses adjust.

If you would like to help support animals in our community, BTAA is currently hiring multiple positions including veterinary medical coordinator, animal care attendants, thrift store sales associates, and storing facility associates, and is always looking for volunteers to support operations. Visit bettertogetheranimalalliance.org to learn more. If you need assistance with a stray dog on a Sunday or Monday, please contact Bonner County Dispatch at 208-265-5525.