GEORGETOWN, Texas (FOX 7 Austin) - With the gas leak evacuations over in Georgetown, businesses off Williams Drive are dealing with a different kind of problem, a lack of employees.
Along with customers, many of the around 70 impacted businesses lost employees during the evacuation.
“They needed to have a full time job so we lost a couple people like that,” Liberty Tax owner Mauro Amador said.
Amador’s tax and insurance businesses was one of dozens of places evacuated following a gas leak all during his busiest time of the year.
“We lost customers and we also lost the potential for new customers,” Amador said. “Between those two numbers we definitely having a loss for this tax season and it will probably take two to three years to recover what we lost.”
With the evacuation lifted months later, Amador is now dealing with a different issue. Not all of his employees returned.
“At the time during tax season we had six and now we ended up with three,” Amador said.
Amador isn’t alone as this is a common trend across many of the businesses once evacuated. The Georgetown Chamber of Commerce partnered with Workforce Solutions and hosted a hiring event to help replace what the gas leak took away.
“Help them fill in that gap if they lost an employee because of the evacuation hopefully they’ll find a new one if they were already trying to fill somebody hopefully they can fill those positions,” Georgetown chamber of commerce president Jim Johnson said.
Aside from bringing in potential employees the chamber is also trying to bring in potential customers by offering incentives just for going inside some of the businesses. This includes being entered into various raffles hosted by the chamber.
“It’s an ongoing effort throughout the summer for people to go visit these businesses, maybe they have to spend a little bit of money, maybe they just get to know those businesses in that end,” said Johnson.
Amador said it will be a long road to recover but this extra help from the chamber is making what could be a difficult ride much smoother.
The chamber says out of all the businesses impacted there are two choosing not to reopen back in Georgetown, one being Golden Chick which already has another location in Georgetown and the other an Apple repair store which moved to Leander.
Following this gas leak and the recent legislative session, the Texas Railroad Commission said all natural gas companies need to remove all cast iron pipes by the end of 2021.