Skyrocketing inflation is slamming many of California’s small businesses

Local news
Vivian Bowers, the owner of Bowers & Sons Cleaners, a second-generation dry cleaner in South Los Angeles, irons a shirt. U.S. dry cleaning prices are up 6.9% year over year, higher than overall inflation of 6.2%.(Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times)

Vivian Bowers, the owner of Bowers & Sons Cleaners, a second-generation dry cleaner in South Los Angeles, irons a shirt. U.S. dry cleaning prices are up 6.9% year over year, higher than overall inflation of 6.2%.(Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times)

For Vivian Bowers, owner of a South Los Angeles dry cleaner, inflation hit home when her wholesale cost for hangers soared by 48% in six months.

Tom Bock, who runs an electric bike dealership in Huntington Beach, has had to pay his workers 25% more, on top of a boost in commissions.

Hagop Berberian, owner of an auto repair shop in Inglewood, is afraid to fully pass on the escalating cost of tires, motor oil and Freon. “Either you keep the customer happy or you lose the customer,” he said.

Skyrocketing inflation is slamming many of California’s 1.6 million small businesses, which employ more than half the state’s workforce. Supply chain snafus make it harder and costlier to restock inventory. Workers are seeking higher pay amid a labor shortage. And small firms are less able to navigate the challenges than larger competitors.

Read the full story on LATimes.com.

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