By CBSNewYork Team

STAMFORD, Conn. (CBSNewYork) – Out of work and hesitant to return?

Connecticut’s governor is offering a $1,000 incentive to get people back to their jobs.

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With 65,000 positions open statewide, business owners say they need the help.

“These are my last two postings,” said Alvino Villa, owner of Casa Villa in Stamford.

Villa told CBS2’s Christina Fan hiring has never been as challenging as it is now. For the last year, he’s been trying to open up a new restaurant across town, but can’t find anyone willing to fill the nine positions he posted online.

“Yesterday I had two interviews set up, and no one showed up. Not even one,” Villa said.

COVID VACCINE

To try and help businesses, Gov. Ned Lamont will be paying a signing bonus to the first 10,000 long-term unemployed workers who find a job. Workers will receive the money after they’ve spent eight weeks in their new full-time position.

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Fan found few takers on the streets of Stamford.

“I don’t think $1,000 would be more than enough to bring someone back to the workplace,” one person said.

“Quite frankly they are making more money staying at home,” said another.

Critics argue unemployment benefits are too rich. Instead of giving more money, House Republicans say the state should opt out of a $300 weekly unemployment bonus.

“I think what we should be doing is first looking at our unemployment fund and reducing those benefits back to normal, pre-pandemic levels,” said House Republican leader Vincent Candelora.

But as businesses reopen across Connecticut, employers say any incentive to bring back workers is better than none.

Applicants for the payments are now open on the Connecticut department of revenue services’ website. The program will be funded by federal COVID relief money.

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Christina Fan contributed to this report. 

CBSNewYork Team