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Freeport business owner hopes to benefit from unemployment reform

Stephenson County board members pass resolution to request Illinois Unemployment Benefits reform.
Published: Jul. 22, 2021 at 10:40 PM CDT
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FREEPORT, Ill. (WIFR) - Late night in Freeport Thursday for Stephenson County board members where they discussed ways to incentivize employment. Stephenson County Chairperson Bill Hadley said the reform is an attempt to eliminate the extra money that’s currently part of the Illinois unemployment benefits program.

Carmela Jackson owns Twice as Nice Consignments in Freeport. After shutting down temporarily and adjusting her store hours, she said she hasn’t been fully staffed since before the pandemic. She says she normally would have to turn people away because so many wanted to work at her store. She didn’t expect to have trouble re-staffing.

“I never had positions open because we were always fully staffed. I thought originally I would say we’re hiring and people would just be coming in like oh my gosh I’ve always wanted to work here,” said Jackson. “That wasn’t the case. You say you’re hiring and literally nobody was coming in.”

Jackson said she thought it was her own problem until she realized shops around her were struggling too and even closing because they don’t have enough employees.

The county board meeting lasted until after 10 p.m. The resolution passed with a 13-5 vote.

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