RALEIGH N.C. (WNCN) – The nationwide vaccination or testing mandate for large employers will not move forward and that’s welcomed news for some of North Carolina’s hospitality businesses as many struggle to hire.

Lynn Minges, president of North Carolina’s Restaurant and Lodging Association, said the national mandate created additional hurdles in an industry with around 32,000 vacancies statewide.

“It just was really one more onerous layer of challenge that we were going to have to place and restaurants and hotel owners and operators,” Minges said.

While the Supreme Court struck down the requirement for businesses with more than 100 employees, Minges is still urging companies to put their own safety measures in place.

“It’s a voluntary thing and that’s a big difference,” Minges said. “We’re glad that we don’t have to enforce that, but we still do encourage vaccines among our employees.”

At COPA Restaurant in Durham, they only have around 15 employees. While they didn’t fall under the federal vaccination or testing mandate, the owners still made vaccination a requirement among staff.

“For the vast majority of our customers, our team being vaccinated as well as requiring proof of vaccination for indoor dining, makes a very significant difference in their decision about whether or not to dine with us,” Co-owner Elizabeth Turnbull said. “Anything that we can do to reduce our exposure as a team, to reduce our closures and loss of income is vital right now.”