Rising prices affecting small businesses in Southern Utah

Southern Utah News

HURRICANE, Utah (ABC4) – Consumer prices are up 5.4% from last year, according to data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and small business owners in Southern Utah are already feeling the pinch of high prices.

Hurricane City Mayor John Bramall owns several businesses in Southern Utah, he’s also a farmer and rancher and says the rising prices are a serious concern. He’s already seeing high prices affecting the agriculture industry.

“Last year I was able to buy off-road diesel for the tractors at a dollar a gallon, this year, I’m paying 2.85-3 dollars a gallon, that’s a difference between 3,000 and 9,000 dollars, per fill up,” says Bramall.

He says some seeds were bought at $18/ hundredweight but now are $30 and $45/ hundredweight. Bramall also owns Coral Cliffs Cinema 8 in Hurricane.

“We’ve had increases in the cinema, sometimes 3%, 6%, 7% per month in concession costs, that we’ve had and we’ve had to pass that onto the consumer,” he says.

Prices for things like candy and soda are going up and finding and keeping employees is another challenge.

“Used to have average age 18, 19, 20. During the summer, we had (an) average age of 15, 16 had to have parental permission to hire and put people to work, because everyone else had been offered more money to stay home, or more money elsewhere to take another job,” he says.

Bramall says the pandemic already took a toll on his businesses, now with inflation, he worries consumers won’t like higher prices and may choose to support larger corporations offering lower prices.

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