Tucson businesses react to historic inflation

KOLD News at 10 p.m. on Saturdays
Published: Jul. 17, 2022 at 7:22 AM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - Inflation is reaching a historic peak. In June, inflation reached 9.1%, the highest in about 40 years.

Local businesses, especially restaurants are feeling the pressure right now.

Summer is already a tough time, but now they are fighting against historic inflation as well as labor shortages and supply chain issues.

“We know prices aren’t going to come down. We know labor costs aren’t going to come down. So, it’s just a matter of any business person has to be flexible,” Suzanne Kaiser owner of Tucson Wings says.

Kaiser said seeing inflation so high is scary. They started up Tucson Wings at the beginning of this year and meat prices are seeing one of the biggest increases.

″Because of the state of the economy we don’t want to outprice ourselves for our loyal guests and we’re using savings.”

Firetruck Brewing Company owner Taylor Carter has seen a lot of the same challenges. he said they have had to make several changes due to inflation.

“It’ is very difficult being a small business owner because you can only raise your prices so much. You know we cannot be charging $15-$17 for a burger. It is just not realistic. So we have been taking items off the menu, we have been monitoring our hours.”

With multiple locations, the labor shortage has also been tricky for them. Carter said everything has gotten more expensive and the rising gas prices make it harder to get shipments in.

“It has affected us as business owners, but it has also affected all of our employees too. Our food costs have gone up. I was looking at some numbers earlier this week, they’ve gone up about 23%.”

Nationally inflation was up 9.1% in June, but expert George Hammond said that is different for us here in Arizona.

“Inflation is likely running even faster here in Arizona. We have data for phoenix and in phoenix in June, consumer prices were up 12.3%.”

Hammond said there is a lot of uncertainty. He expects to see prices come down, but there is no telling how fast.

“We will eventually see inflation start to come down. The federal reserve has begun to raise interest rates over the slow economic growth and that will continue throughout the year, so we will see growth slow,” he explains.

The businesses KOLD News 13 spoke with said social media has helped them a lot during these tough times. They also partner with other businesses owners to encourage people to shop local.

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