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Small businesses feel impact of inflation

While inflation has definitely had an impact on consumers all around Southern Idaho, local businesses have felt the effects as well
Published: Nov. 25, 2021 at 1:11 PM MST
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MAGIC VALLEY, Idaho (KMVT/KSVT) — Rising costs for food, clothing, gas, and other items have hit the nation, causing issues for consumers worldwide.

“Everything basically was up to an average trip which I take for three or four weeks. It was about 30% rise in cost of hotels, gasoline, and general eating and restaurants,” said one local man.

While inflation has definitely had an impact on consumers all around Southern Idaho, local businesses have felt the effects as well. Many of them had to face a very tough decision between rising prices or losing longtime customers.

“When small businesses have to raise their prices, the decision is not made lightly. It’s to survive,” said National Small Business Association member Janeale Dean.

Dean says the result of this inflation stems mainly from supply chain issues. “During COVID and the shutdowns, we’ve had a lot of problems actually getting access to the material goods and packaging products,” Dean said. “When that supply chain is disrupted, then it’s really hard to actually get access to those products.”

Because it’s hard for small businesses to make the decision to raise their prices, Dean says it’s important to stay patient. Other local experts add that labor supply is another contributing factor.

“Because you can get higher wages and people make more money, then prices are going up, labor price is going up. So if Walmart has to pay more money for their workers, they’re going to pass that on. That’s going to be in the cost of goods,” said CSI professor emeritus Russ Tremayne.

Tremayne says inflation is currently sitting at 6%. This has caused nearly 90% of all businesses to raise their prices. But when might things calm down?

“These really are unprecedented times, and so I don’t think anybody knows what’s going to happen,” says Dean.

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