NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – The hunt for holiday help has small businesses desperately offering incentives and extra pay.

“I’m looking for anybody that is willing to work at this point,” said Terron Mercer, CEO of LICRA, a cleaning and restoration company in Antioch.

The 22-year-old small business usually average about 60 employees, but is down to about 40 staff members.

“I have trucks that are not running because I don’t have the manpower to actually run these trucks,” Mercer said. “It slows everything down. It slows our production.”

In North Nashville, The Cupcake Collection is constantly recruiting.

“Since the pandemic, a lot of people had a chance to go home and sit down and be with their families, and be with their children and figure out what’s most important to them,” said Mignon Francois, Founder of the bakery. “And, it really wasn’t being burned out.”

The Cupcake Collection has been a Nashville bakery destination for nearly 13 years. The family-owned and run business is now trying unique incentives to retain workers. They now offer things like higher pay, scholarships for student workers and in-house personal assistance.

“Helping out with childcare,” said Francoise. “I mean, that’s one of the biggest things that people can’t afford to go to work because they can’t afford for someone to help them out with their children.”

Hire Dynamics, a Nashville talent acquisition company, says they have about 500 job openings through the holiday season.