Record high inflation impacting Michiana businesses

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SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- The record high inflation is making everything more expensive for consumers, but local businesses are also feeling the effects.

Many essential ingredients are starting to cost business owners more, which leads to menu prices increasing as well.

“Everything goes up, one week it’s cream cheese and next week it’s milk,” said Mike Stone, co-owner and executive chef of Early Bird Eatery, which recently relocated from Bridgman, Michigan to its current South Bend location.  “There are certain times in the year when I can’t get certain products, so you’re always just anticipating alternative ingredients or just ways to pivot.”

Wage increases also don’t help local businesses keep up with the rising cost of necessary supplies.

“Wages have risen significantly,” said Jennifer Stone, Mike Stone’s wife and co-owner of Early Bird Eatery.  “Independently owned restaurants with slim profit margins have made a pretty big impact on overall profitability.”

The inflation doesn’t just affect the restaurant industry, as price hikes are being felt in the local retail sector.

“We understand that inflation doesn’t just hit our store,” said Danny Reynolds, owner of Stephenson’s in Elkhart.  “Everybody’s costs go up.”

Most businesses are trying to help their employees when they can.

“We’ve had wage increases and other incentives to try to work with our staff,” said Reynolds.

With inflation showing no signs of slowing anytime soon, business owners may have to get used to a new reality.

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