Tarboro’s economy continues to grow despite the fact some businesses are having difficulty maintaining sufficient staffing to stay open during posted hours.

The town is processing a request for the voluntary annexation of property in the River Oaks Shopping Center where a Starbucks is planned.

The request was made by TNV Capital LLC of Raleigh for property to be located at 106 River Oaks Drive, which is north of the recently opened Cook Out fast food restaurant.

Starbucks was founded in Seattle in 1971 and is the world’s largest coffeehouse chain. As of September 2020, the company had 32,660 stores in 83 countries, including 16,637 company-operated stores and 16,023 licensed stores

On the east side of the parking lot and north of Jersey Mike’s Subs, plans have been submitted for a Tractor Supply store.

Town Planning Director Catherine Grimm said the project sketch shows a free-standing store that lines up with the front of the existing buildings but that advanced plans have not yet been received.

The Brentwood, Tenn.-based company owns and operates 1,955 Tractor Supply stores in 49 states, employing more than 45,000 people and describes itself as “the largest rural lifestyle retailer in the United States.”

Founded as a mail-order tractor parts business in 1938, the first Tractor Supply Co. retail store was founded in 1939 in Minot, N.D.

There is no timeline on either project.

The north end of the shopping center continues to grow while the south end contains a Wendy’s, a Dollartree and a small strip center with a state agency tied to Hurricane Matthew recovery as its lone occupant.

Most recently, Thomasville-based Cook Out opened its newest drive-thru fast-food restaurant about five months behind schedule following repeated delays in getting building materials.

While Cook Out was holding daily job fairs at the restaurant, other food establishments were adjusting their hours to address a shortage of workers.

Earlier this year, Mama’s Pizza began closing on Mondays, and more recently, Arby’s, which opened in January 2020, has been cutting its days short. On Sunday afternoon, Hardee’s was dark.

“So many places have ‘Help Wanted’ signs,” one observer said, “but places can’t get the folks to show up for work.”