SYKESVILLE, Md. — For small businesses, it’s been blow after blow because of the pandemic. Now with the holidays coming, they are battling supply issues at an international scale, with increased prices and non-existent stock.
“It’s a challenge all around,” said Hélène Taylor, owner of the French Twist Café in downtown Sykesville.
It’s been unlike anything Taylor has been through in her seven years of business.
The supply chain issues have made it nearly impossible to get every day needs like plasticware. The heavy duty ones she usually orders have been out of stock so she had to order more flimsy ones that are nearly $10 more a case.
Plates were next. When she got close to running out, she found she couldn’t order her usual compostable ones. Fellow Sykesville business E.W. Beck’s Pub helped her out, ordering what they could from their distributor, but again, what was in stock was not as good.
“They are not compostable and they were $81 a case,” said Taylor.
That’s double what she used to paid.
“I just eat the cost and hopefully things will get better,” said Taylor.
E.W. Beck’s is also facing their own challenges.
“Every week it’s something different but it’s pretty across the board from the smallest stuff to the biggest stuff,” said general manager Dan Feehan.
This week it was wings… one of their staples, and they can’t get them in.
“We didn’t want to try to order something else that may be different than the product we use so we chose to not serve anything until we can get it back,” said Feehan.
Feehan said unfortunately they’ve have to raise some prices to compensate for the extra they are spending.
“It has definitely affected us financially, and it’s difficult for customers to go out and spend that much money as well. It’s not easy for anybody,” said Feehan.
He’s optimistic President Joe Biden’s plan to invest in ports will help.
“I want it to improve and hopefully get everything back to where it needs to be and all the businesses can survive,” said Feehan.
It’s not just the food industry that’s impacted. The Downtown Sykesville Connection said many businesses are dealing with rising costs as well.