'We're all stuck': Lexington business owner forced to raise prices due to inflation

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Posted at 5:06 PM, Apr 12, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-12 17:50:11-04

LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — Inflation has jumped to 8.5%, according to a new report by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The increase in prices for business owners, combined with continued labor shortages and supply chain issues has small business owners wary.

They are more pessimistic about the economy than they have been in decades, according to the Small Business Optimism Index released Tuesday by the National Federation of Independent Businesses.

The SBOI also showed that 31% of owners pointed to inflation as the single biggest problem facing their businesses.

It's certainly hitting local bakery owner, Fred Wohlstein, who hasn't raised prices at Donut Days since 2019.

"We didn't want to upset the apple cart during the pandemic,' Wohlstein said. "We wanted to maintain the status quo."

But now, he has no choice. With supply costs up 40% from last year, he has to pass some of it along to the customer.

"We're all stuck," he said. "We all have to go up."

He said he will make the change in the next few weeks.

For example, a donut that costs $0.95 now will cost about $1.10.

"They could have gone up already, so I'm surprised they waited until now to see the effects on inflation," Douglas Smith, who has been a Donut Days customer for 30 years, said.

Despite the challenges, Wohlstein is looking to a brighter future ahead.

"We just have to keep that faith alive," he said. "I think that's true of any entrepreneur. You just gotta keep going."