As most customers are aware, Bemidji businesses -- especially in the food and beverage sector -- are facing serious challenges in recruiting enough staff.

Wages have gone up but applications have not. I am confident that every business is doing its best to serve its customers during these tough times. Availability of staff can vary from day to day, and often we have little if any backup staff.

Most customers, I would say 95%, are understanding and for this we are grateful. The other 5% can sometimes make things even harder. Sometimes service is a little slower and sometimes businesses are forced to limit their hours.

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In some cases, prices have gone up slightly to offset increased costs. Nobody wants this, and hopefully, it is a short-term problem. We deeply appreciate those of you who are understanding and a little more patient, and I am hopeful this can become a universal sentiment with 100% understanding.

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Ken Howe, Bemidji, is the owner of Dunn Brothers Coffee.

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