Rising inflation taking a toll on local business owners

Published: Apr. 22, 2022 at 6:43 PM EDT
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AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - For some local businesses, it’s not just staff shortages. Rising inflation is now their biggest obstacle.

The U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics says last month the price of imported goods went up by almost three percent. That’s the highest monthly increase in over 10 years.

It’s leaving some owners with few options. David Ray is the owner of Cyber City Circuits, and like many other small businesses in Augusta, he opened right before the pandemic hit.

They developed props for escape rooms and helped train people about electronics.

“The pandemic started, and all of that disappeared, and that’s when we took equipment that we had for other purposes, and we went into manufacturing,” he said.

They say they’re the largest electronic manufacturer in Augusta. Now they’re dealing with a new challenge.

“We started experiencing a lot of supply chain issues and part shortages,” said Ray.

Parts that would cost $20 dollars and shipped in one day, now take two weeks and costs almost $100.

“We had $70,000 jobs that we lost because we couldn’t get a 75-cent microchip,” he said.

Across town, Brittany Parnell owns Sosidity Boutique in south Augusta. She started the summer before the pandemic hit.

“It was rough. It was really rough, but luckily, I made it through,” she said.

They were only able to keep their head above water for a couple of months before another blow.

“Just starting out, we’re paying everything out of pocket, so we’re not really profiting at this point. We’re really trying to keep it up and going,” said Ray.

She’s having to raise inventory prices and shipping prices for customers.

“This is what it has to be in order for me to keep my business running,” she said. “It’s just a roadblock and a roadblock after a roadblock.”

Relief grants are still available for Richmond County small businesses, visit https://augustasmallbusinessrelief.com/

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