Women-owned businesses in the Quad Cities are feeling the effects of inflation.
A new Bank of America report shows that minority businesses have been seeing more of an impact. The report says. 99.3% of all businesses in Iowa are small businesses. Bank of America says 86% of those small businesses are impacted by inflation.
Latisha Howlett, owner of Bayside Bistro in Rock Island, says inflation is affecting her business, as well as not being able to keep loyal employees. “Prices have absolutely gone up,” Howlett said. “I’m paying $28 for 24 cucumbers, or maybe I’m paying $36 for 24 cucumbers. It truly is effective to continue to have to hire, to go through the hiring process 12, 15 times a year.”
A representative with Bank of America says businesses have to raise their prices due to higher purchasing costs. “We see on average business owners increasing around 13% of their actual prices,” Rafael Colon Cruz, a Bank of America small business banker, said. “They increase prices to help with that impact that inflation is creating too. There’s some other factors like operational costs that are preventing keeping those prices low.”
Operational costs affecting the business is true for Abernathy’s in downtown Davenport. “We are a store that’s not a necessity,” Nicole Perez, Co-Owner of Abernathy’s in Davenport, said. “You don’t have to have a dress to live. Everything costs more, and we feel it in our packaging materials and our products that we have to buy from wholesale, as well as just everyday operations.”
Everyday operations are also a concern for Bayside Bistro’s owner going into the next year. “The cost to provide utilities to your space, that has gone up as well,” Howlett said. “We’re going into winter, where you’re going to be using a lot more heat.”
When asked about expanding their businesses, both owners were hesitant. “It would be super cool, but maybe a little bit expensive,” Perez said.