Landscaping Businesses Are Losing Money Because of U.S. Visa Policy

Landscaping staffs are working longer hours, sales volumes are dropping and customer complaints are going up.

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This year has been tough on Shayne Newman, the owner of the Connecticut-based landscaping company YardApes.

For the past two decades, Newman’s business has come to rely on help that comes via the H-2B visa program, which allows employers to hire foreign workers for seasonal, nonagricultural employment.

But this year, Newman was not able to secure the 15 H-2B visas he requested, leaving him short on workers and overly reliant on his full-time employees to pick up the slack. As a result, he says, his staff is working longer hours, the company’s sales volume has dropped and customer complaints have gone up. So far this season, YardApes lost a contract that accounted for about 10 percent of the business’ overall revenue.

“This has been the most challenging year that I’ve dealt with business-wise,” says Newman. “We’ve got all hands on deck and we’re doing what we can to get the fieldwork done, but it’s definitely been a challenge.”

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