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How Has Inflation Affected Your Business?

Interviews by Deborah Jeanne Sergeant

Consumers have certainly felt the pain of inflation at the register and gas pumps; however, businesses also have experienced varying effects of inflation. We recently asked area business leaders their reaction to current levels of inflation. Here’s what they said:


“It’s definitely affected my business and made it very challenging due to the rising cost of supplies and labor. It’s affected my business dramatically and it’s making it more difficult to stay in business.”

— Kathy Hotaling, Owner, Kathy’s Cakes & Specialty Treats, Fulton


“The recent inflation spike has affected our business tremendously, as it has for all of us, essentially. Our material costs and wages continue to increase, as we try to slowly adjust our pricing to keep up, without upsetting our great customer base that is also dealing with these struggles from all angles.

— Wayne Goppelt, Owner, Wayne Design, Sign & Print, West Monroe


“Inflation has affected the pricing of our products and that gets passed on to the consumer. While this has been a terrible winter for snowmobile parts, I’m still seeing a reduction in business due to pricing.”

— Guy Fox, Owner, Fox’s Discount Parts, West Monroe


“Inflation has affected the cost of my doing business for some of my subcontractors. For example, because of inflation and supply chain issues, it can be difficult to get specified paper stock from a printer. We’ve had to either substitute a different stock or wait longer for the specified stock to arrive. In addition, it costs me and anyone else who travels for business, more money for gas, which increases my overhead and cuts into my profit.”

— Steve Chirello, Owner, Steve Chirello Advertising, Fulton


“It increased our prices. I’ve noticed that the prices go up month by month, and it’s noticeable over the course of the year. Some prices go up by 50%. PCP piping, for example, has for sure gone up.”

— Tyler Carlton, Office manager, Chiasson’s Heating and Air Conditioning, Oswego


“I contract at a local nursing home. Everything has gone up and it’s put a hurt on the nursing homes. It has affected a lot of things in nursing homes. There are already tight margins especially with everything they had to buy for COVID. I don’t think people realized that.”

— Janice Scott, Director of housekeeping and laundry, Eagle Janitorial Supply Service in Oswego County


“Freight has been crazy. Inflation in general is hard when you’re a small business, especially a brick-and-mortar store and you’re competing with Amazon and all the big websites. Those two big things — freight and competition from big websites — are making small brick-and-mortar businesses suffer.”

— Amy Burns, Owner, Fringed Benefits, Fayetteville


“It hasn’t affected my business in the home inspection industry, at least nothing noticeable at this time. Hopefully, it stays that way.”

— Ryan Mackridge, Owner, Hands On Home Inspections, LLC, Pennellville


“We felt it a little. I think as wages go up, so are prices. At some point, it will balance out, I hope, and we can get back to normal. We haven’t had a big downturn.”

— Mike Tryniski, Owner, Lakeview Lanes, Fulton


“Inflation has affected my business extremely adversely. I’m in the website design business for my large tourism website for New York, The cost of maintaining the site, the cost of hiring individuals to contribute to the site, like for blogs and to hire people who are assigned to get advertising have all increased to the point that I’m not sure I’ll be able to continue. The profit margin was getting narrow before but in the tourism field, it’s very expensive to find people to promote and network with to make the advertising profitable. Inflation has caused some of those advertisers to no longer advertise with us because they can no longer afford it. Any news media is having tough times. I’m doing the work of three people now because I can’t afford to hire the other two. I can’t find anyone qualified to do basic work for a reasonable price.”

— David Granoff, Owner,, Oswego


“It’s not so much the inflation, but the interest rates have slowed us down a little bit. Overall, things are OK. Inventory is down a little, but business is OK.”

— Thomas Gilbo, General manager, Par-K Chrysler-Jeep, Fulton


“I think people are cutting back. All the products are going up in price.”

— Jolie Kallfelz, Owner, Square Deal Liquors, Central Square


“We’re just as busy as we were before so I don’t think it’s affecting us as far as the number of customers. They still want to get out of the house and enjoy an experience. Our prices are very affordable so it’s a nice option to come with the whole family.”

— Alison Scanlon, Co-owner, The Press Box, Oswego


“Mostly, it’s been in operating costs. That’s probably the biggest thing, and the cost for things like retail expenses.”

— Matt Talamo, Owner and president, Southern Image Automotive, Oswego


“Business has been good, so it’s primarily tougher to borrow and make investments. The price of goods is going up. As a result, we’ve increased wages and salaries based on inflation, knowing that our employees have to purchase goods at a higher rate.”

— John F. Sharkey IV, President, Universal Metalworks, Fulton


“We noticed the impact of inflation almost immediately with fewer registrations to classes for adults and fewer registrations for all of our children’s programming.  In addition, the lower attendance in events such as children’s activities, movies and live shows dropped by at least 40% in overall attendance. This is the revenue that we depend on to keep the CNY Community Arts Center and programs operational.

— Bonnie McClellan, Interim executive director, CNY Community Arts Center, Fulton


“Similar to many other small businesses, we have been forced to institute product price increases, which have been more than offset by the across the board increase in all of our direct and indirect operating expenses.”

— Dave Canale, Co-owner Canale Insurance and Accounting, Fulton, Oswego and Stamford


“On the service side of things, we have had to increase prices across the board for the first time since we started business. I’ve never had to do this. We’ve gone up $2 a week for diaper and laundry services. It’s because of the gas costs going up, minimum wage increases, and increases in the price of energy. These have had a significant impact on our service. The laundry side of things has blown up for us though. I think because we’re local. In the last month, we’ve taken on three new commercial clients. On the retail side of things, postage and shipping have gone up. Our web service costs have gone up. Keeping the lights on has gone up. A lot of my distributors have had price increases. Melissa & Doug is one of the bigger companies we do business with and in the past year, they’ve increased prices four times. That’s an enormous hardship for us as we have to change all the prices in the store and online. It takes a lot of manhours to update all of that information.  Those are the things people don’t see when prices increase. We’re doing OK overall. I understand how customers are feeling with the prices going up and we’re working hard to help with specials and to give customers extra service and things that don’t cost us anything. Our customer service is one of the most important things so we can help customers in a way that’s welcoming and supportive. People can’t buy that online. That encouragement is one reason that customers keep coming back. I like being able to serve the local community. It’s good to keep those dollars here with businesses supporting businesses.”

— Lisa Emmons, Owner, Mother Earth Baby LLC, Oswego