DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – Small business owners in the Miami Valley are feeling the effects of inflation from the price of the supplies they need to what they charge their customers.
Food truck operators who are getting ready for the summer say this season will be a little more challenging.
Cortlands Mobile Grill owner Gui Ansley sets up in Courthouse Square Monday through Friday.
He said he’s experiencing fluctuating food prices because of inflation and supply chain issues.
“Chicken wings have gone up to $160, now they’re back down to $104. But now chicken breasts gone up to $160 a case,” Ansley said.
Ansley said he shops around for the best deal so he doesn’t have to raise prices for customers. When that’s not possible, he’s had to temporarily pull items from the menu.
“I did have to lose my number one thing, the chicken wings, I had to stop selling those for a couple of weeks,” Ansley said.
Brock Masterson’s Catering also sets up a food stand at Courthouse Square. The business also offers catering for celebrations and events.
“We had to raise our prices, we hate doing that,” chef Rick Schaffer said. “I can assure you the prices that we’re charging doesn’t mean more profit for us, it just means covering our costs.”
Schaffer said even through the challenges of COVID-19 and now skyrocketing costs, the business continues to see the community’s support.
“We’re going to ride this out, and at the end, we’ll come out, all of us will,” Schaffer said.
The Entrepreneurs Shoppe in the Wright Dunbar District is filled with products from 30 small businesses. Owner Tae Winston said those business owners are frustrated as costs continue to go up.
“A lot of businesses have to use UPS and other shipping places, the delivery fees are higher, it’s hard to get things, a lot of things are on back order, and then the gas prices don’t make it any better,” Winston said.
Winston said the biggest inflation impact she’s seen is less foot traffic in her store.
“A lot of people don’t have money to shop because the economy’s bad, so we’re seeing a low, decrease on sales,” Winston said.
Winston said the pandemic has helped small businesses learn to pivot, but fears the effect inflation could have, especially on small businesses, is just getting started.