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Inflation, labor shortages impacting Middle Tennessee small businesses

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Posted at 4:55 PM, Nov 01, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-01 19:39:42-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Inflation and labor shortages have trickled down to small businesses, giving them another challenge to combat during the pandemic.

Supply prices have been inflated due to ongoing disruptions in shipping and manufacturing.

The Biden Administration has taken steps to try and ease the supply chain issue, including having ports in Southern California working around the clock, but some small businesses say it's too late.

The issue has forced small business owners like hairstylist Perla Salas to unwillingly increase the price of their services.

"I'm still having a struggle getting product in because of what's happening in California," said Salas. "Prices went up for us for shampoos and products."

Salas, who is a hairstylist in South Nashville on Cotton Lane, says she tried to keep prices the same for as long as she could before the inflation.

"I don't want to lose my customers," Salas said. "I know a kid wants to look good but mom and dad don't always have money because they lost their job."

The ability to pay rent has also threatened thousands of small businesses. A recent survey by Small Business Majority reported among U.S. small businesses who rent or own their business space, 78% are struggling with their rent.

Salas is trying to look at the bright side though. Being the only employee and her own boss, Salas doesn't have to deal with the labor shortage issues that many employers are seeing as well, a victory in her eyes.