MERIDEN, Conn. — A survey of small business owners is putting the impact of inflation into perspective.
That survey conducted by the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) found that every owner who responded is being affected by the issue in some way.
Also according to NFIB, 32% of small business owners say inflation is their single most important problem right now in operating their business, which is the highest reading since the fourth quarter of 1980.
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The pain is palpable up and down West Main Street in Meriden.
“Everything, all the prices they are very high. And it’s not easy, especially here downtown, it’s kinda a little bit tough,” said Zahra Lkhal, owner of Iceland Convenience and Ice Cream.
“We have price increases basically on a monthly basis from our vendors,” said Matt Lagana, owner of Liberty Lagana Furniture.
About 540 businesses participated in the survey and over half (62%) reported that inflation is having a substantial impact on their business while about a third (31%) reported it had a moderate impact. According to the survey, zero percent of respondents reported no impact.
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“This is the worst I’ve seen it. This is totally the worst, and being an owner, people don’t know how hard it is to keep this running,” said Tina Dalipovski, who owns Downtown Coffee Shop.
High prices have been affecting Dalipovski’s business for months, with the cost of supplies and food soaring.
“Everything just tripled up. The box of chicken we used to buy was $45, now it’s $150 for a box of chicken breasts,” said Dalipovski.
To cover the cost increases, 86% of owners who responded to the survey said they are raising the prices of goods and services.
“It really does hurt. I’m trying not to raise my prices thinking everything’s going to go back to normal but I don’t think it’s going to go back to normal anytime soon,” said Dalipovski.
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"The problem is like we pay a lot and with the customer, they come here and they're like want the same price as before. And this is the problem, we try to tell the customer the price is high. But they always blame us,” said Lkhal.
Business owners are now left struggling and wondering when things will improve.
“I know a lot of businesses around here that closed due to the pandemic because they couldn’t even keep at float. Right now, I’m at float so I’m hoping to god I don’t go any worse,” said Dalipovski.
Small business owners said inventory and supply as well as fuel are the top two contributing factors to higher costs.
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