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Inflation, supply chain disruptions hurt Central Pa. businesses

Half of Pennsylvania business owners surveyed said business conditions have gotten worse in the last six months.

LANCASTER COUNTY, Pa. — On tap this summer: inflation headaches for Mark Garber, co-owner of Big Dog Craft Brewing in Manheim Township. Beer is more expensive to make because of higher grain prices, and rising costs for other foods have forced Garber to pass the costs on to customers through higher menu prices.

“There’s definitely a little bit of anxiety right now with the past six months with prices of things going up,” he said. “...We’re trying to make adjustments but at the same time there’s always that worry that there’s going to be a price point where people are going to stop coming out.”

Garber is among the two thirds of Pennsylvania business owners for whom inflation is a top concern, according to the spring 2022 Keystone Business Climate Survey by the Lincoln Institute. Half also said business conditions have gotten worse in the last six months.

Inflation is the only factor burning profits up in smoke.

“We get frustrated because we don’t have the product they want,” said Bill Shupp of D&S Cigar Lounge, which is also in Manheim Township.

The pandemic slowed production in countries where cigars are made. In combination with supply chain disruptions, Shupp said D&S Cigar Lounge is having trouble stocking shelves.

“We’re not getting as many cigars in as we normally would, and the cost of them has obviously gone up a bit,” he explained. 

Shupp said he has adapted by helping customers choose other brands they may like.

Pennsylvania business owners in the survey were also pessimistic toward political leaders; no state or federal official or institution had a net-positive favorability rating.

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