Nevada small businesses feel the pain of inflation, owner closes rather than raise prices

LAS VEGAS, Nev. (FOX5) -As small businesses continue to feel the pain of inflation, a beloved restaurant in Henderson is choosing to close rather than raise prices for customers.

Restaurants in Nevada have begun closing amid this latest economic storm of rising costs and labor shortages, according to the Nevada Small Business Association.

“I am very proud that we managed to stay open during COVID-19. Now, with inflation and the inability to find staff, this has been a challenge for us,” said Gert Kvalsund, owner of Saga Pastry and Sandwich off St. Rose Parkway, who has struggled for months with reduced hours due to a shortage of employees.

Kvalsund said the restaurant was the first Scandinavian restaurant in Las Vegas.

“There are several ways to do it. You can buy cheaper products, have smaller portions or raise prices. I don’t want to do any of that. I think the quality should always stay the same,” he said. “Things were starting to look up when the restrictions went away. And then the next thing is prices skyrocket,” Kvalsund said.

“When it comes to price, people won’t pay for a sandwich and a waffle,” Kvalsund said.

“It’s a perfect storm. We see it again and again,” said Randi Thompson of the Nevada Small Business Association, noting that small restaurants are especially vulnerable to the challenges of inflation. labor is a third of your cost…so now you have to raise your rates or you won’t stay in business,” she said.

The National Federation of Independent Business reports that 31% of small businesses are in debt. The SCORE organization reports that more than 54% of companies have raised costs and 23% of workers have demanded increases.

Thompson said the greatest impact is felt among communities where unique establishments may be lost for good.

“What makes our neighborhoods unique are our locally owned and operated businesses. And they are the ones who struggle the most,” Thompson said.

Saga will close on Sunday. Kvalsund said there were hopes of reopening another location in September with cheaper rent.

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