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Supply chain issues impact some local small businesses

Supply chain issues impacting some local, small businesses
Posted at 4:26 PM, Nov 04, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-04 19:08:46-04

CLEVELAND — Supply chain issues continue to impact businesses worldwide, including many small, locally-owned ones in Northeast Ohio.

Those shortages are causing some of them to prepare for the upcoming holiday season in ways they normally wouldn’t.

At Our Favorite Things Boutique on Larchmere Boulevard in Cleveland, the racks are full of winter items, an unusual sight so early in the season.

“We’ve had to order heavy on a lot of our merchandise just to ensure that we'll get it in for the holidays,” said CEO Lisa McGuthry. “Normally, we are a door to floor merchandiser. We maybe order six to 12 of any one item, but lately, just to ensure that we have merchandise in stock, I've been having to order 24 to 48 pieces.”

McGuthry says supply chain issues are to blame.

And while some think more is more, it's not for small business owners.

“It reduces your working capital because you have to use those funds to purchase this merchandise while you can or you'll be left out,” said McGuthry.

That’s stressful on its own, but McGuthry has also had trouble keeping items made by local business owners, like sugar scrubs and candles, in stock because they’ve been affected by supply chain issues too.

It's something her neighbor Susan Rozman can relate to.

“We're starting to see delays that people were hoping weren't going to affect them,” said Rozman, the owner and buyer of Fiddlehead Gallery.

Fiddlehead Gallery is just two doors down from Our Favorite Things Boutique and specializes in handcrafted artisan items.

Rozman said they’re well-stocked right now, but some shipments have been pushed back as far as January.

“A lot of our artisans have their supply chains disabled. You know, whether it's getting their materials or their clay or their paper products,” said Rozman. “I think also staff with COVID and some of our larger production pottery companies are having trouble keeping staff in so that has pushed some of our orders beyond our ideal holiday season.”

“Fortunately, we have the flow of cash that we're able to stick to the purchases because it is items that we need and we know we'll sell,” said Rozman.

As business owners on Larchmere make do with shortages and overstock, others News 5 spoke to said supply chain issues haven’t made too much of an impact on them.

Maureen Koopman is the owner of Home for the Holidays Lakewood, a pop-up shop that sells handmade goods from local makers.

“In comparison to last year, it is still just as busy which is wonderful. We love that. But it's not quite as frenzied. I can tell the people have had some opportunities to be out and about and do things but still really excited to come see us here,” said Koopman.

She said some of them have been hit by supply chain issues, like those who utilize glass in their products, but the majority prepared earlier this year for the holiday season.

“What I find is that makers are so passionate about what they do, they often have lots of supplies on hand,” said Koopman. “So that's one of the beautiful things about the shop, being all small businesses and makers and also different businesses that they've each really been on top of having the materials they need to create their product.”

Koopman said popular items this year are cocoa bombs and Cleveland Browns apparel.

As each of these businesses prepares for the holiday rush, they’re urging people to be patient and still consider shopping local.

Jade Jarvis is a reporter at News 5 Cleveland. Follow her on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

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