DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN)– Small businesses and restaurants across the country are suffering from widespread supply chain shortages.
The Biden Administration announced Wednesday that Walmart, FedEx, and UPS will expand their efforts to help with the ongoing supply chain shortages caused by the pandemic. However, giant corporations could be leaving small businesses in the dust.
Leaders of the Oregon District Business Association say they’ve had to outsource products like their DORA cups after running dangerously low on supplies. John Leblanc, a Management Professor at Cedarville University, believes we’re facing a workforce problem, not a lack of products.
“Of course people are staying home because they’re paid as much to stay home instead of working,” said Professor Leblanc. “It started with truck drivers, you can’t get the goods off the dock or out of the warehouse so now you can’t get the goods to the customers.”
The Oregon District Business Association says their restaurants have been suffering from shortages for weeks. Restaurant owners have been forced to eliminate menu items or get creative until products are available.
“Typically one purveyor is out of something but it keeps being these buildups of a single ingredient that everyone is out of,” said VP ODBA Emily Mendenhall. “We were very down to the very end of our DORA cups and everyone was splitting cases and sleeves. We renegotiated and produced stickers for temporary approval by the police department just to keep serving the cups.”
Staff at Mike’s Bike Park says the past 18 months have been highly unusual for the whole bike store community. Parts, pieces and supplies are hard to come by, and products are being waitlisted. Owner Mike Bisig has operated the indoor bike park for five years and said he’s never seen a shortage like this before.
“A complete bicycle is very difficult to find, we’re lucky to have a couple of them but we had to do a lot of strategic ordering to make that happen,” said Bisig. “It’s constantly changing, it’s never the same month to month so it’s very interesting and crazy but I’m along for the ride.”
If the workforce isn’t restored quickly, Professor Leblanc believes the federal government needs to step in.
“The answer to this whole thing is the president needs to call in the National Guard and have the CDL drivers in the Guard drive the goods,” said Professor Leblanc. “Get them out of there, otherwise we’re not going to get out of this or it’s going to be the same this time next year.”
If nothing changes, Professor Leblanc estimates the economy will start to see a significant ripple effect from the lack of workers in as little as three months.