NASHVILLE, Tennessee – Senator Bill Hagerty toured the Lipman Brothers warehouse Tuesday morning. Haggerty and his team walked with CEO Robert Lipman and COO Lowell Goldman through the facility, where Lipman and Hagerty discussed the problems the company has been facing with supply chain disruptions and labor shortages.

“This is another great example of wonderful Tennessee entrepreneurs that have thrived in an environment that’s very challenging,” Hagerty said. “But Robert Lipman, the proprietor here, told me how hard it is to get the workforce that he needs, the difficulties that he’s had with the supply chain; the fact that glass from China is a major bottleneck now, for what he’s trying to do right here.

That’s the type of thing I’ve seen manifest itself across this state. Employers are telling me how hard it is to get people to come back to work. How difficult it is to get supplies, and the supply chains are very complex and they roll all the way back to China. That’s where this problem emanated from, and that’s what we’re trying to work through today. But many, many people are in the same position that the Lipman Brothers are, right here, looking for qualified employees to come to work. We’ve got great opportunity here in the state from an economic perspective, and it’s time for us to get back to work as Tennesseans.”

The Lipman Brothers company was established in Middle Tennessee in 1939 as the first distributor of wine and spirits in Tennessee. The business has, for more than eight decades, distributed to all trade channels including retail, grocery, convenience stores, bars, and restaurants.

Despite the supply chain issues affecting the nation, Haggerty said there is a solution.

“It’s not too complicated to solve, but we’ve got a shortage of truckers right now, we’ve got a shortage of the warehouse workers, we’ve got a shortage of basically every type of worker that you might imagine. A large number of jobs are open right here at Lipman Brothers, right now they’re trying to fill and they’re having a difficult time getting people to come back to work.”

Hagerty continued one problem was the incentivization for people not to work. He added some are concerned about returning to work due to the pandemic, and “We’ve got to get [the pandemic] under control. The fact that we don’t have tests and therapeutics, after a full year of the current administration, is really disappointing to so many people.”

“We need to get America back to work. Tennessee, I think, will be at the forefront of getting back to work because that’s in our nature.”

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Morgan Nicole Veysey is a reporter for The Tennessee Star and The Star News Network. Follow her on Twitter. Email tips to [email protected].