COLORADO SPRINGS — There has been a lot of reporting on the impact of supply chain issues nationally and globally, but what's really going on here in southern Colorado? News5's Patrick Nelson takes a deep dive with local businesses to uncover the impact of supply chain issues and what it all means for us as consumers.
It's impacting everything from craft beer to hand-crafted candles. Small business owners across the Pikes Peak Region tell News5 they've had to get creative to overcome ongoing supply chain issues that continue to hit close to home.
"It is quite the process. It is fun and methodical, lots of math and science that goes into it, but at the end you have a high quality hand poured non-toxic candle," said Skye Candle Company Owner Sarah Freeman.
Freeman's store is nestled in the heart of the business community in Manitou Springs. That meticulous work to make these local candles has only become more challenging with supply chain issues she says are real.
"Very much real. Very much real. There are occasionally containers or fragrances, or items I can't make because I can't get my hands on those products," said Freeman "I could wait anywhere from a month to eight months to get something I could normally easily order."
So many local businesses in the Pikes Peak Region have shared these challenges that consultants put in place by the Small Business Development Center have been working to help find solutions.
"We're either coaching existing businesses and saying maybe it's time to think about another product line that you might be able to do to fill a gap, or looking at entrepreneurs who are sitting there recognizing this or have the means right now," said Small Business Development Center Consultant Steve Imke.
Freeman quickly pivoted and found some help from locals who could supply containers to hold her precious candles.
"I've even worked with some local artists who make glass containers or who do pottery," said Freeman.
At Red Leg Brewing Company in Colorado Springs supply chain issues are also impacting things here and now.
"Yeah the supply chain issue is real. It's a problem. Not just with what's going on off in California that you see with the shipping container boats idle, but we were told there's a 39% reduction in the crop yield," said Red Leg Brewing Company President and Founder Todd Baldwin.
But it's not just impacting making the beer itself, it's also more of a challenge to distribute it.
"Then you talk about aluminum. Aluminum cans and how we're getting our hands on those. Corrugated boxes, lids for our cans, then actually the six pack rings that hold them together," said Baldwin "Tap handles. It was six weeks to get a tap handle in, now it's 18 weeks. Just something as simple as dispensing the product is taking longer."
So what does all of this mean for us as consumers?
"You have an increase in cost," said Baldwin. "That increase in cost then gets passed onto the consumer. Increase in price."
But small businesses say the willingness of consumers to pay a little more to shop local this holiday season will keep people employed.
"You know it impacts the customer and without the customer I don't get to pay my people," said Baldwin.
"It would mean the world to me if more people came in," said Freeman.
If you are a small business owner who could use some advice, or someone with an idea to start a business to help fill supply chain challenges reach out to the Pikes Peak Small Business Development Center.
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