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Rhinelander Area Chamber of Commerce cancels business showcase, citing workforce shortages

Rhinelander Area Chamber of Commerce Facebook

The Rhinelander Area Chamber of Commerce cancelled its upcoming business showcase because it couldn’t secure enough vendors.

The annual showcase is a way for Northwoods businesses to promote their work and recruit applicants.

But it hasn’t been held since the pandemic began.

The chamber of commerce intended to bring the showcase back this year, but Lauren Sackett, the chamber’s executive director, says it hit too many obstacles.

“Unfortunately, we ran into quite a few issues,” she says. “Businesses are having workforce issues, or hearing about not having available product, shipping delays, things like that, as well as some of our trade industries are already pretty busy.”

Among those issues, Sackett says many local businesses site staffing issues as their biggest challenge.

“People got a better work-life balance during COVID,” Sackett says. “Those outside-of-regular-business-hour type of events isn’t something that many businesses have budgeted to staff anymore.”

Sackett says she hopes the business showcase can return to the area next year.

The chamber is brainstorming ways to add value to the event, so that it can be more meaningful to businesses.

Erin Gottsacker worked at WXPR as a Morning Edition host and reporter from December 2020 to January 2023. During her time at the station, Erin reported on the issues that matter most in the Northwoods.
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