Chicago Small Businesses Face Supply Chain Problems and Economic Impact of COVID | Chicago News

Some small business owners say they are hopeful the holiday season provides a much needed boost to income as retailers large and small face supply chain issues and inflation for more than one year. a year and a half after the start of the pandemic. (WTTW News)

The holiday shopping season is underway – and the National Retail Federation says sales are on track in the United States for break spending records.

It has been more than a year and a half after the start of the pandemic. And some small businesses are hoping the season will give businesses a much needed boost as retailers large and small face supply chain issues and inflation.

WTTW News spoke to three Chicago-area small business owners to see how they’re doing over the holiday season.

Sekou Tafari is the owner of Frontline Books and Crafts, which has a storefront in Hyde Park, Woodlawn and Evanston. Due to the pandemic, Tafari said fewer people were on the streets, which means fewer customers are shopping at his store.

Frontline Books and Crafts has a storefront in Hyde Park, Woodlawn and Evanston.  (WTTW News)Frontline Books and Crafts has a storefront in Hyde Park, Woodlawn and Evanston. (WTTW News)

This fall, the Hyde Park location faced the possibility of need to close. Tafari says the company “is moving away from [this crisis]. “The community has supported Frontline, and he hopes the holiday season will bring more business.

“We have highs and we have lows. But during Christmas and Kwanzaa time, we hope to see a lot more of our customer base, especially in our Hyde Park store. We can’t wait to see people come in and spend some more money. But the pandemic has affected us, ”Tafari said.

Frontline also publishes books, and supply chain issues are delaying the time it takes to do so, Tafari said.

A pet clothing store in Pilsen is also struggling with supply chain issues.

Cynthia Soto owns Pocha pet shop, a pet clothing and accessories store in Pilsen, which opened in May 2020. Soto worked in early childhood development, which did not feel stable at the time. She wanted to find another way to support herself. The items in the store are made by Benito Moda MX, a brand that his best friend, Jessamyn Gonzalez Carrasco, launched in Guadalajara, Mexico.

Cynthia Soto is the owner of Pocha Pets Boutique, a pet clothing and accessories store in Pilsen, which opened in May 2020 (WTTW News)Cynthia Soto is the owner of Pocha Pets Boutique, a pet clothing and accessories store in Pilsen, which opened in May 2020 (WTTW News)

Soto says supply chain issues are even bigger in Mexico.

“There are fabrics that are no longer made, so there are items that we have to stop… it’s really hard because some people want more of that same item, and we just can’t do that anymore,” Soto said.

Business has been stable since the store opened, Soto said. Many people worked at home where they spent more time with their pets, which Soto said helped boost sales.

But the holiday season has been slow. She says many customers are turning to big box stores for their holiday shopping. With new items and projects, Soto hopes she can bring in more business.

“I really think small shopping is really thoughtful when shopping for someone, because it’s something that’s done by hand, it’s something unique,” ​​Soto said.

But there was no slowdown for Lincoln Square Timeless toys.

The holiday season, the time between Thanksgiving and Christmas, is Timeless Toys' busiest time of year.  (WTTW News)The holiday season, the time between Thanksgiving and Christmas, is Timeless Toys’ busiest time of year. (WTTW News)

The holiday season, the time between Thanksgiving and Christmas, is Timeless Toys’ busiest time of year. That’s a third of the company’s sales, owner Scott Friedland said.

“This year we had a lot of first buys, so our numbers for October and November were higher than usual. We’re seeing a trend that’s a little slower now that it’s December, but it’s starting to accelerate as Christmas approaches, ”Friedland said.

This year, Friedland says more customers are shopping in stores, compared to last year when online sales increased significantly. To anticipate supply chain issues, Friedland placed its holiday toy orders in May.

“We have shortages, once a product comes out, it comes out. I can’t reorder it like we can during a normal season, but we have a lot of stock for our customers, ”Friedland said.

Note: this story will be updated with a video.


Source link

About Mike Stevenson

Check Also

The time to recheck your risk profile matches your tolerance for market downside

Investors may not have fully appreciated the level of risk they were carrying in their …