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Federal program's cap puts small businesses at risk

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BATON ROUGE- Small business owners are worried they may have to close shop because of the H-2B temporary workers program.

The federal program allows small business employers to hire non-immigrant workers for at least 10 months for seasonal jobs.

Jeff LeJeune is the owner of Green Up Lawn Care, a landscaping company. His business is a part of the federal program.

“I have used it for 10 years, it allows us to bring in people for a seasonal time,” LeJune told WBRZ.

Today, small business owners voiced their concerns to keep the program alive. The program is designed to allow a 66,000 cap of visas every fiscal year nationwide but he believes the cap needs to be expanded.

“I run 10 trucks, 10 crews a day, and right now I only got half of my people this year."

Businesses like processing companies, agriculture, hospitality, landscaping and other services are at the mercy of the program. Without any workers, owners like LeJune are fearful they will have to close shop.

“It's very scary. It's hard to plan, I mean you cannot even have a five-year business plan not knowing what you are going to have, if you are going to have your guys year-to-year.”

Next, business owners plan to meet with senators to request a release from the cap in order to receive more workers.

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