Local Grand Strand businesses struggle amid staffing shortages, supply chain issues

Published: Jul. 6, 2022 at 9:10 PM EDT
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MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WMBF) -- From inflation, shipping delays and staffing shortages, businesses big and small are constantly leaping hurdles to survive.

Just this week, a popular Carolina Forest restaurant announced they were permanently closing after 10 years due to inflation and short staffing.

Over at The Market Common, dozens of other local businesses face the same issues.

Lorraine Calafiore, a retired school teacher from New York, opened Yarnloft off Howard Avenue in March. As a new business owner, she says her biggest expense is dealing with inventory from other countries and high shipping costs leaving barely any room for profit to be made.

“I had to prioritize and ask myself what do my customers want and how much can I afford,” said Calafiore.

Nicole Romano owns You Eat I Bake, a bakery down the road that specializes in gluten and nut-free baked goods. She’s also dealing with inflation when it comes to her baking ingredients.

“Each time I order more flour the shipping goes up,” she said.

In May, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce found that 85% of small-business owners expressed concern about inflation.

The Consumer Price Index increased 8.6% in the last year, the largest 12-month increase since 1981. However, it’s not just the cost of goods on the rise.

“If I’m going to grow I need more space so I called a few other places to see what their rent was but it’s so expensive I just couldn’t do it,” said Romano.

For now, Calafiore and Romano remain hopeful inflation will come down and stay resilient as small business owners.

“Hopefully people continue supporting locally owned businesses because they’re your neighbors,” said Romano.

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