Area businesses hire for the holidays - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Area businesses hire for the holidays

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CEDAR FALLS (KWWL) -

Black Friday, the unofficial start to the holiday shopping season, is just more than a week away. To handle the increase in shopping, businesses are increasing staff. Toys-R-Us and Kohl's are both hiring 40,000 seasonal employees across the country.

As decorations go up on Main Street in Cedar Falls, area businesses are also preparing for the holiday shopping rush.

Peggy Wainwright-Wagner decided she wanted to get a part time job. She was hired by Kitchen Essentials and Gifts to help with the seasonal stampede.

"I retired from education after 38 years in administration and I was retired for a about a year and just wanted to get out and work part-time. I realized the holidays were coming and I thought this might be a good time to go out and find something," Wainwright-Wagner said.

Kitchen Essentials and Gifts only has seven regular employees but add one or two for the holidays.

"It gives me peace of mind. It helps to make sure customers get great customer service and don't have to wait too long," Kitchen Essentials and Gifts owner Gretchen Behm said.

While many people wait until Black Friday or later to get started with their shopping, others just can't wait.

"Amazingly it's already started. It starts Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday are our busiest days and last week was the first day it started to feel like Christmas," Behm said.

With the economy still struggling to get back to where it was those who have found these seasonal jobs say they are very fortunate.

"I think with the unemployment rate as it is I think there's a lot of people looking for work so I felt really fortunate that I was able to get this position and I love it and I enjoy coming to work every day," Wainwright-Wagner said.

Cedar Falls Community Main Street's Holiday Hoopla kickoff is the day after thanksgiving from six to eight that evening. Main Street will be closed off for a tree lighting, holiday singers, and Santa.

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