Record-High Inflation Keeps Small Businesses on Edge

Many small business owners say inflation is the single most important problem they have right now

NBC Universal, Inc.

Small business owners have had a rough few years. First the COVID-19 pandemic, then product shortages, and now -- record-high inflation. 

“The price of cups, napkins, spoons have pretty much doubled since I started the business,” said Miguel Falcon, owner of Neveria Los Mochis in Barrio Logan. 

Falcon opened the ice cream shop last July and said the shop’s first year has been anything but easy.

“At this point, I have had to increase my prices,” said Falcon. “I mean, it was just, that I couldn't go on without doing it. And that's kind of tough, because, you know, there's plenty of other ice cream shops in town that people go to, and I really want them to come to mine."

He’s not alone, according to a survey conducted by the National Federation of Independent Business, 32% of small business owners who participated say inflation is the single most important problem they have right now.  

“Small businesses really are operating on very small margins, and they are more susceptible to shifts in the marketplace,” said Craig Barkacs, a business professor at the University of San Diego. “They're more susceptible to uncertainty. “

Small businesses are the most vulnerable to rising costs, said Barkacs.

“It's one of those things I can't do anything about. It gets you down if you just listen to it too much,” said Barkacs. “You know, it's just a matter of being able to, you know, figure things out.”

But for how long?

“We don't have a crystal ball,” said Barkacs. “But most people think that inflation will be with us this year.”

“Whether you worry about it or not, it is not going to affect it one way or the other,” said Barkacs. “One of the things that we should all try to do is we should try to establish some stability in our own personal financial situation.”

That's something Falcon said he’s working on.

“You just gotta keep on going, can't let stuff like that stop you,” said Falcon.

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