(Kimberly James) – As the coronavirus pandemic wears on, hundreds more Nevada workers are set to lose their jobs.
Five large southern Nevada companies plan to lay off more than 800 employees by Nov. 10.
The Westin and Renaissance Las Vegas plans to lay off a combined more than 300 employees on Oct. 30. Addus Healthcare is working to close two locations, putting more than 330 people out of work. Sundance Helicopter tour agency permanently closed its tourism flight Las Vegas operation on Aug. 21, laying off more than 100 employees. Live Nation expects to continue furloughs of more than 70 employees.
“In Nevada’s three biggest counties, local bars, pubs, breweries and wineries are still closed,” Randi Thompson, Nevada state director of the National Federation of Independent Business, told The Center Square. “This is impacting a few thousand businesses and tens of thousands of jobs.”
After being closed for six months, many of these businesses will never open their doors again.
“That means several hundred people have permanently lost their jobs, with little prospect for finding another until more businesses reopen,” Thompson said.
Another hurdle, Thompson said, is that restaurant capacity in the state is still at 50 percent. This impacts whether thousands of employees can come back to work.
“The best action the State’s COVID Task Force could take is to allow bars to open in Reno, Las Vegas and Elko,” Thompson said. “There is concern that COVID is spreading at house parties. If people could go to bars, small groups could sit together, away from other groups, people could sit outside, and bartenders could enforce a mask policy – that seems like a much safer alternative.”
Thompson said to truly help, Congress needs to pass another Paycheck Protection Program bill specifically for businesses that are operating at 50 percent capacity or are still closed.