You’ve been to the grocery store and you’ve seen prices increase on just about everything…. Imagine being a small business owner right now.
While many big businesses are raising their prices for customers, some small business owners are trying to absorb the costs themselves.
“You’ve gotta be a little extra on the scoop,” says Ashley Brown.
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For Brown, owner of Ashley’s Famous Cookies, it’s been an interesting year and a half.
First, she had to stop baking because of pandemic panic buying.
“We were dealing with things that people never even paid attention to! There was no flour, no eggs, no sugar, and those are the essential things you put in a cookie,” she says.
Now, prices of everything are going up.
“Shipping, product packaging, we just kind of had to come out of pocket because even though we raised the prices a little bit, we didn’t want it to be where it was unaffordable for the customer,” says Brown.
A single mother of three, Brown wants the best for her kids, but for her customers too.
“Similar to being that teacher in elementary school who wanted to really feed your kid the education the school wasn’t providing, so you started using your own funds to make sure your class had what you wanted them to have,” says Brown.
It’s not easy, but she’s getting it done.
“But you can’t cut corners if you want that premium taste, so you have to just kinda go with it and hope your customers appreciate it in the long run and maybe when things settle back down you’ll get that money back in the long run,” she says.
Inflation is just a little more heat, and if you can’t take the heat, you’ve got to get out of the kitchen.
“It’s the sacrifice you have to make as a small business because your competitors are not just other small businesses. They’re big platforms that can get things to customers in a day and at a lower cost to them,” Brown says.
That’s just how the cookie crumbles.
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A poll done amongst nearly 8 thousand small business owners across the country showed 59 percent are having difficulty acquiring supplies, but only 48 percent of them say they are charging higher prices to cover their expenses.