Half of American Small Businesses Say Biden's Seized-Up Supply Chain Is a 'Significant' Problem


As kids across the country begin to formulate their Christmas wish lists, many American small businesses have a simple holiday wish of their own — they just want to remain afloat amid supply chain crunches that are making their lives a battle.

Roughly half of the nation’s small businesses say supply chain problems are “significantly” affecting their operations, and nearly 70 percent expect nothing will get better on President Joe Biden’s watch over the next six months, NBC News reported on Monday.

The report cited the September “Small Business Economic Trends” paper from the National Federation of Independent Business.

This means visions of mere survival are filling the heads of shop owners, according to The Washington Post.

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“We’re at the whim of a broken supply chain,” said Sarah McDonald, co-owner of Out There Outfitters in Wayne, Pennsylvania. She estimated about a quarter of what she ordered for her business selling outdoor gear has not yet arrived.

“I spend a lot of time looking for fill-in products, saying, ‘Since I can’t get A, will C suffice?’ That’s a risk, too. I don’t know if C will suffice for my customer,” McDonald said.

“A lot of our products have already been canceled, and there are significant delays on others,” she said, according to the Post. “My store is full — I’m not going to say it’s empty — but it’s taking a lot longer to manage my inventory and fill holes.”

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A case in point: an order of drinkware placed in March 2020 just made it to her store.

Small businesses have been struggling against the tide since the dawn of the pandemic.

The Post reported that about 800,000 small businesses closed for good in the first year after COVID-19 hit, according to the Federal Reserve. That’s about 30 percent above normal.

Kim Mitchell, who owns Boing! Toy Shop in Boston, said small retailers are up against it.

“We hoped things would get back to normal this year, but if anything they’ve gotten worse,” Mitchell said, according to the Post. “If some of these smaller manufacturers miss the holiday season, 2022 is when you’re going to start seeing people go out of business.”

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She said her stock will not be what she wanted and she hopes customers can adjust.

“I will have things to sell,” Mitchell said. “But if a kid has their heart set on a particular item — and the holidays are a time when kids write fairly specific lists — I might not have it.”

Curtis McGill, the co-founder of Hey Buddy Hey Pal, a small business in Amarillo, Texas, that makes Christmas ornament decorating kits, said the supply chain crisis “has really put a lot of small businesses in a pinch,” he said.

“It could literally put some of us out of business,” McGill said.

Small business owners say the retail world is a battleground in which giants like Walmart have an edge.

“The factories are backed up and it’s a fight for capacity, with the bigger guys offering incentives and donations, saying, ‘I’ll give you an extra $5 apiece to put my orders in front,'” said Kimberley Smith, chief supply chain officer for Everlane, an apparel company in San Francisco.

Everlane’s experience is not unique, said Jason Miller, a supply chain and logistics professor at Michigan State University.

“There is no question: Smaller mom-and-pop retailers without much negotiating power are being most impacted in every way,” he said, according to the Post.

“They’re paying the highest prices and having to wait the longest,” Miller said.

This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

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