Even as inflation rises to highest in decades, small businesses working through it

Published: Jul. 13, 2022 at 9:03 PM CDT
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KILLEEN, Texas (KWTX) - There is lots of economic trouble today as a new report shows inflation is at a 41-year-high. Many at home are feeling it and so are those running small businesses.

It is just another hurdle some owners are doing their best to work through.

For Ann-Marie Bruner, the economic roller coaster of the last couple of years is forcing her to do one thing: be positive.

I think we’re just finally hitting a place where, ‘OK, we can navigate,’” said Bruner.

She and her husband own Powerprint Tees in Killeen, a business they’ve had for more than 25 years.

Since the pandemic they’ve had to shut down, scrounge for business, then supply chain shortages meant scrounging for product. Now, they have the product and are dealing with inflation.

“Now for us, personally. Obviously, supplies, everything that we purchase has gone up,” said Bruner.

New reports show consumer prices have surged to a 41-year high, which has economists worried.

“(The report) gives you an overall, sort of, ‘wow, that’s surprising.’ You know, danger Will Robinson, something of that nature,” said Rob Tennant. “It doesn’t mean that it’s Sharknado, but it doesn’t mean that it’s Rosey time either.”

Tennant, an assistant professor of accounting with Texas A&M University Central Texas, said these are high inflation levels that may not go down too much, soon. But the economy is working through a very complex time.

“A few of the levers moving in an unpredictable way,” said Tennant. “Things can get much better or much worse very quickly.”

As it is now, the people feeling the brunt of the economic turmoil, the lower-to-middle class.

Tennant’s advice: hold on to a bit more cash and make plans on how to spend if emergencies pop up in the near future.

“This is what to do in case of a nuclear attack. I know what it sounds like, that’s what it sounds like, but no,” said Tennant. “You’ve probably noticed that I’m saying, ‘this could happen,’ a lot. Because there is so many pieces in movement.”

And that is what Bruner and her people at Powerprint Tees are doing, just working through the troubles.

“I don’t know. This is one of those moments where you put your head down and just move forward,” said Bruner. “And, hopefully, we’ll come out the other side in a better position.”

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