TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI) – While inflation is hurting many of you at home, it is also making it much harder for businesses across the Wabash Valley.
Grand Traverse Pie Company in Terre Haute has been open for about 15 years.
General Manager Stephen Huddleston said he has not seen an economic situation like this since they opened.
These past six months to a year have been unlike Huddleston has ever been seen.
Prices keep rising, which has made it difficult to keep up with worker wages and food prices.
“Everything keeps going up and up and up, and every time something goes up, and anytime something goes up, employees’ wages aren’t going up,” Huddleston said.
This can put companies like Huddleston’s in a challenging situation.
Local economists like Indiana State economics professor Dr. Robert Guell say it can lead to some difficult decisions.
That is with inflation predicted to be up 7-9% by the end of the year.
“They are in between a rock and a hard place because they have to decide whether their customers will pay higher prices for those goods,” Guell said.
Huddleston said they have done everything in their power to limit raising their prices.
He said the community has responded well and supported his business.
But, sometimes with costs of other goods going up, customers spend less in his store.
“If they’re spending an extra 15 to 20 bucks on fuel, that’s an extra 15 or 20 dollars you’re not going to come in here and spend. So, everybody’s getting a bit more selective on how to spend their money,” Huddleston said.
The timing is what Huddleston said has made it even more difficult for his business, and many others.
He says with covid, inflation and shortages of certain products, there have been some times trying to earn a living.
“We’re in business not to lose money, as is everybody else. So, it’s been tough. Supply chains are still an issue. I mean, it’s just not a good time for all this to be going on,” Huddleston said.
Guell also said inflation usually goes up to around 1% in a given year or so.
He said with restaurants, constant price changes in their products can in turn cost them more money.
That is because they have to constantly print new menus and update customers.