Small businesses say inflation is still their biggest problem
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Small business owners were feeling a bit more confident in August. That’s according to the National Federation of Independent Businesses’ monthly optimism index.
But their optimism is still historically low, with small business owners dealing with high inflation, plus pandemic labor shortages and supply chain challenges that haven’t quite smoothed out.
The report finds that inflation is still the biggest concern, as Katie Stack, owner of Stitch & Rivet, can attest.
She sells leather handbags that are a little more expensive these days to account for higher material costs, and Stack has noticed customers aren’t spending as freely.
“If you’re spending more money on gas and groceries, you’re maybe not buying that handbag,” she said.
Or, maybe you skipped that summer road trip – which means less business at Ruby’s Inn near Bryce Canyon National Park. General Manager Lance Syrett said price hikes aren’t translating to higher profits.
“People come in and they’ll buy a hotel room and it’ll be $180 bucks and they’ll say, ‘Well I paid $150 last year.’ It’s like … well, we’re not making any more money,” he said.
There is some optimism out there. Keri Piehl said her business has grown during the pandemic. She owns Color Wheel Toys in Albuquerque.
“I think that resonated with a lot of people in a time especially where you know, joy was maybe in short supply,” she said.
Piehl is expanding from a seasonal pop-up to a permanent store ahead of the holidays, her busiest time of year.
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