Side hustles, gig jobs, and companies hiring now

Out of work? These businesses have opportunities
Posted at 9:15 AM, May 05, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-05 18:35:01-04

As thousands of Cincinnati-area workers wait for unemployment benefits, many are looking for other jobs to provide some type of income to pay the bills.

Some are applying for work at retailers like Kroger, Amazon and Walmart, which are all hiring tens of thousands of new workers right now (see below).

But others are reluctant to work in a busy place right now, so they looking for smaller side hustles.

Work from the safety of your home

So, which of these side hustles are people turning to for help with their finances? Some of the most popular gigs don’t even require people to leave their house.

When Natalie Fernandez was laid off from her job, which she'd had for three years, she looked into a side hustle.

“I said, 'Why not? I have no job. I’ve got loads of time. I’m cooking anyway. Why not? Let’s do it,'" said Fernandez.

So when the shutdowns started, she joined Pampered Chef as a consultant and selling kitchenware products. She’s doing all of it from home.

"I do everything right here in my kitchen. This is my office, right here,” said Fernandez.

Virtual parties on Facebook allow her to promote the products. She makes demo videos to show people how the products work, makes the sales and then receives a direct deposit into her bank account.

Sell your own items

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, many people have looked to side hustles for income.

Some have opened up their own online store using Printful or Etsy to sell their products. (If you can make face masks, there is a huge market right now.)

The key is finding a side hustle that works for you.

Like to teach? You can teach English to children in China and third world countries from your own kitchen by signing up at VIPKid.

If you don't mind going into people's homes during the pandemic (please wear a mask), there is plenty of work right now doing tasks and small home improvement jobs for people stuck at home through the site TaskRabbit.

“It’s the perfect side hustle because I already cook every day,” said Fernandez of her Pampered Chef job. “It is my only source of income, so that I can keep myself entertained as well as keep my bills paid.”

And best of all, you can still collect unemployment while working a side hustle if you were recently laid off from your day-to-day job, according to Fortune Magazine.

Delivery and retail jobs with benefits

But do you need to make money now, with health insurance and other benefits, and you don't want the hassle of starting your own business?

Reports in Fast Company magazine and USA Todaysay if you need work, check some of these local businesses which are hiring:

  • Grocery and drug stores, especially Kroger, Walmartand CVS: Hiring is up 123% this year, according to Fast Company. Walmart alone plans to add more than 100,000 employees this year.
  • Grocery delivery services like Instacart and Shipt, which both need thousands of workers to deliver all those grocery orders that shoppers want brought to their door during the pandemic.
  • Restaurant delivery services like Uber Eats and Door Dash, for all those restaurant orders families are placing these days. (A huge help for Uber and Lyft drivers who have lost most of their income hauling passengers.)
  • Trucking firms to get all those grocery and medical supplies to stores (though many will require a CDL license).
  • Pizza chains: Hiring is up 100%. Domino's and Papa John's need immediate workers to help with the surge in takeout orders.
  • Home improvement stores, especially Home Depot and Lowe's (which needs to hire 30,000 workers).
  • Tobacco shops, cannabis/CBD clinics, and vape shops: Help Wanted ads are up 100%.
  • Dollar Tree, Dollar General, Family Dollar: Each is adding thousands of staffers to restock stores.
  • Gun and rifle ranges: Up 269%, as people train to protect themselves.
  • Pet shops and breeders: Up 400%, as people rush to adopt new dogs and kittens.
  • Cable TV service providers: Up 52%, to handle all the extra calls from people stuck at home ("Hey, my internet just went out!").


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