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US economy shrinks again, San Diego small businesses feel the impact

Financial Markets Wall Street
Posted at 3:55 PM, Jul 28, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-28 20:12:56-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — For the second quarter in a row, the United States economy has failed to gorw, marking the start of a recession in many eyes. This is having impact on small businesses in San Diego.

In Solana Beach small business owners are feeling the effects in different ways. For some, the biggest hurdle right now is inflation. For others it is excessive inventory and no demand.

"Everything is going up and it's just hard for the clients," explains Louticia Grier.

Grier has been in the hair business for 37 years. Her hair replacements are a necessity for many, but the cost to make them has increased. Her packaging alone has gone up 10%.

"I usually try to buy as much as I typically can," she explains. "And stock up on things if I know they are going to go up on it because it is just incredible."

During the pandemic and now, Grier continues to see customers. However, she says she tries not to pass along the high prices.

"Honestly I take the hit myself, because these people have been coming to me for so long," said Grier.

"So as long as I can balance it out with myself," she furthers with a shrug. "Because when you say going up, everything is going up, it's ridiculous really."

But other businesses have not been as lucky.

"So we were sold out for all of 2020 and 2021," said CEO of Elliptigo, Bryan Pate. "We ordered a whole bunch of product in those years, that product is now arriving finally, but the demand has really gone down."

Pate says he had to raise the prices of his bikes from $3,699 to $3,999, because the cost for him to purchase them went up 25%. A shipping container that used to cost Pate $2,500 dollars, now costs him $10,000.

“It used to take six to seven months to get to us at the height of the pandemic, now it’s only taking 60 days," explains Pate. "

So we are thinking, Oh things are so much better, we are only paying 4 times as much as we used to, and it’s only getting to us you know three times as slowly as it should. And that’s for some reason good," he says. "So it’s just hard, it’s a hard environment right now.”

According to a recent Goldman Sachs survey of 10,000 small business, 93% of participants said they fear a recession within the next year. 86% also say that inflation, supply chain and workforce issues are negatively impacting business.

"It's becoming more difficult to keep it reasonable because everything has gone up so much," said Grier. "And it doesn't seem to me that it needs to be. I think it's like a trend that everyone is following of putting things up when sometimes it's not even necessary."

While some owners like Grier say they plan to power through, others hope that internal changes might help customers come to the door.

"People just aren't feeling as wealthy and as confident," says Pate. "So that's a strong headwind to fight against for a small company like ours."

Pate says that their focus right now will be on marketing and reminding consumers about the benefits their products provide.

"I think our big focus is we gotta just run break even, we just have to survive the next 18 months," shares Pate. "If we can survive the next 18 months, work through our inventory, get our cash position back to where it needs to be we are going to be golden."