Small business owners battle rising inflation and supply chain issues

Small business owners say they are struggling to keep pace with inflation. But one of the biggest issues is supply chain disruptions.

Owners say they are struggling to keep up with inflation costs. But one of the biggest issues is supply chain disruptions. They want their businesses to succeed, but coming back from all the problems is not easy.

The owners of Steel Wheel Tavern in Ridgewood are in no danger of alienating loyal customers.

“We’re not going to change our prices so drastically that it will affect people,” says owner Glenn Carlough.

Carlough says prices can go up 50 cents or $1. But he says it won’t keep pace.

This is especially true due to disruptions in the supply chain. Carlough pays almost 40% more for beef. He says the chicken has gone up almost 20%.

The only solution is to have more satisfied customers.

“We are going through this period. We’ll do it with a smile and hope people love our products and come back,” says Carlough.

And it’s not just the restaurants. Biltmore Tuxedoes pay about 10% more for clothing and accessories – if they can get the inventory.

“You never know where or when it’s going to hit. At one point we had a problem getting brown shoes. At one point we struggled to get bow ties,” says owner Rich Ardito.

He says the pandemic has revealed an existing problem – industry that was once made in the United States is now coming from China or factories in the Caribbean.

Wholesalers are not maintaining the same inventory, with the persistence of COVID-19 and the closure of many retail stores.

“So if we need a jacket or vest, where normally we could get them within a week, now we have to wait weeks and sometimes months,” says Ardito.

Some business owners are optimistic. With COVID receding and spring approaching, parties are planned and restaurants are bustling again.

But there’s also concern that, as people pay more for gas and groceries, they may not have as much or want to spend as much on a night out.

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