Local businesses facing supply chain, staffing issues

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BOSSIER CITY, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – Shipping delays in the Port of Los Angeles are impacting nearly every business across the United States – including here at home. Locally owned stores are not only facing these supply chain delays but also staffing shortages.

“I stress out every night. I can’t even sleep, because I’m thinking, what can I do?,” owner of K Couture Boutique in Bossier City Kim Tran said. “I have a restaurant too, and we are short-staffed from A to Z. Last year, we had, like, 10 employees, this year, we have 4.”

The owner of Give Me 3 Boutique in Bossier City, Tracey Barringer, says she places her Christmas inventory orders in January of each year for an August delivery. It gives the store enough time to price and count the inventory to make sure they have enough for the holiday season. As of Wednesday, they have received only one-third of it.

“Typically, the answer is that it’s sitting in a container in a port and we’re waiting on the port situation to be figured out. And we’re waiting on workers to show up, to unbox and unpack the ports and containers, we need truck drivers to get it to us. It’s a cycle that we’re all facing.”

The nationwide impact of the supply chain delays is driving up inflation rates for big retailers and small businesses alike.

“It’s a four and a half to six percent surcharge on every order that I’ve previously placed and future orders that I’ve placed,” Barringer said. “That cuts into any kind of a margin that I’m wanting to see. And it’s unfair because it’s like, gosh, where do we make that up at?”

While some local shops are facing a scarcity of items heading into the holiday shopping season, others are receiving too much inventory.

“We were having a big-time issue like everything is coming short and later. Like six months later,” Tran said. “And so, I’m kind of scared. So, I’m overbuying. I’m buying so much and now everything is coming in at once.”

Both Bossier City business owners agree that they’re looking forward to serving their customers during the busy shopping months. They also hope residents will choose to shop locally, instead of buying from commerce giants like Amazon.

K Couture Boutique is looking for seasonal employees to start immediately. For more information, you can check out their website.

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