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Baltimore businesses deal with supply chain issues

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Posted at 4:53 PM, Nov 11, 2021

BALTIMORE — Supply chain issues and inflation are affecting customers during peak holiday shopping season.

"Everything from a gallon of gas to a loaf of bread costs more and it's worrisome," said President Joe Biden Wednesday in Baltimore.

Small businesses are also feeling the effects of shortages and price increases.

"It has been shipping costs. We’ve had to take that into consideration and we’ve also had to take in gasoline costs because we deliver," said Jacquelyn Shuford, the owner of Yeht Company on the Avenue in Hampden.

Supply chain issues have made it harder for Shuford to get the handmade fair trade products she wants because the artisans can’t get the necessary materials.

"That’s been a shame because it impacts them. It impacts us," said Shuford.

She’s had to pivot, pulling back on the variety of offerings and starting to make things herself.

"I can only look at what I can control and I'm going to do that," said Shuford.

Across the street at Baltimore in a Box, they’ve felt the crunch from the businesses they rely on to create that Baltimore-themed care package experience.

"Whether it’s Berger Cookies not being able to get the little plastic containers that that cookies are housed in to Otterbein's Cookies not being able to get the red bags for their bags of cookies or margarine for their cookies," said owner Ross Nochumowitz.

According to the most recent U.S. Census Small Business pulse survey from October, 45% of businesses said they are having domestic supplier delays, double the amount from January.

"It’s only making business harder but that’s what’s fun about being an entrepreneur is problem solving," said Nochumowitz.

For Nuchumowitz, it means shipping exclusively with UPS and ordering product well in advance.

"Trying our best to collect as much inventory as we can so we don’t have to order as much during the holiday season," said Nochumowitz.

The one thing both business owners haven’t done is pass their struggles onto the customer.

"The goal for us is we want to get Baltimore in the hands of so many different people and we don’t want to cancel out some of our customers by increasing our pricing," said Nochumowitz.

"We want to take into consideration that we are all in this together so we don’t want to increase costs and impact families," said Shuford.

Their advice for shoppers this holiday season: buy early and be flexible with gift ideas because not everything may be in stock.