SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Supply chain issues and staffing shortages could impact your holiday shopping this season. Experts say now is the time to start buying as businesses face many challenges.
Experts are warning shoppers not to wait until the last minute to buy for the holidays. Shelves are emptying quickly because many stores can’t keep up with the demand. Supply chain issues and rising prices aren’t keeping consumers from buying.
The latest retail sales numbers show U.S. consumers are spending at a much faster pace than expected, up over 15 percent in September. Businesses, especially smaller ones, face many challenges this holiday season.
“I have spoken to so many of my constituents to talk about the inability to staff their restaurants to staff their small businesses. It’s a serious problem and unfortunately I think it’s going to be this way through the holiday season.” John Velis, Massachusetts State Senator
A recent poll from the National Federation of Independent Business found nearly half of owners it surveyed were experiencing either significant or moderate staffing challenges. According to the NFIB, 48% of small businesses say supply chain disruptions are having a significant impact.
“We were listening from the very beginning about all the challenges with shipping disruptions.” Kate Gourd, Owner of Cooper’s Gifts Apparel Home says business there is actually going very well compared to other small businesses across the region, making changes on the fly to make sure their shelves are stocked.
“The vendors that couldn’t promise when they would be able to ship I have now canceled them off. We have replaced them with other variety of merchandise instead. All along we have been focusing on made in the USA in every way that we can.” Kate Gourd, Owner of Cooper’s Gifts Apparel Home
Nearly 12,000 jobs were added in September in Massachusetts, but the unemployment rate increased from 5 to 5.2 percent.