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Businesses face labour squeeze in festive season

Published on Jan 26, 2014 8:21 AM
 
Crowds shopping for Chinese New Year goods at the Chinatown bazaar yesterday. Businesses such as Chinese restaurants are pulling out the stops for customers during this festive season, which is the busiest time of the year. Many are getting staff to put in over-time and roping in part-time workers, friends and family. -- ST PHOTO: SEAH KWANG PENG

It is the festive season's busiest period, yet Ms Olivia Lim has closed her bakery for two weeks.

Behind My Lovebites' shutters, the 37-year-old and her mother pound dough for 18 hours a day, seven days a week, to fill a long list of Chinese New Year orders.

"I've tried looking for help, but can't find anyone suitable," said Ms Lim, who opened her Joo Chiat Road store in 2011. "We closed temporarily so we didn't have to worry about walk-in orders."

She is not alone.

 
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Background story

No walk-ins

"I've tried looking for help, but can't find anyone suitable. We closed temporarily so we didn't have to worry about walk-in orders."

MS OLIVIA LIM, who has closed her bakery My Lovebites for two weeks


Help from family

"We're roping in my aunties to help. I have no social life, but at least it's fun to work with the family... Still I don't think I can rely on them much longer - we'll need more proper staff."

MS JACLYN LIM, owner of floral shop The Bloom Room