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Inflation impact on Yakima small businesses

Vintage Me in downtown Yakima on April 4, 2022.{ }
Vintage Me in downtown Yakima on April 4, 2022.
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YAKIMA -- Inflation isn't only raising the prices of gas, it's also impacting things like shipping and handling.

Since prices went up during the pandemic, many small businesses have gotten used to the additional costs. However, with the current inflation, they might start to see things increase even more.

Michelle Emmons, owner of Vintage Me in downtown Yakima, sells vintage and antique decor, clothing and knick-knacks.

She says with the home decor, she hasn't seen any difference in prices.

"I have noticed that in our clothing, our fashion, the prices have kind of inched up a little bit and I have noticed that our shipping prices are a little bit more," Emmons said.

She says the impacts she's seen are not as bad as she thought they would be though, especially with how gas prices are.

"So far, i've not noticed people pulling back on spending money. No one's ever mentioned 'Oh, I bought gas so I'm not you know, so I have to be more careful,'" Emmons said.

Verlynn Best, CEO and President of the Yakima Chamber of Commerce says there are different agencies that are working with truck drivers and ports to try and get a little more control over this situation. In the meantime, she says people in the community can help out by shopping local.

"Continue to support your small business. Get out there. We're all going to have to take it on the chin a little bit. There's a little bit of inflation, but if we all get out there, we continue to support our small businesses. And we can also advocate for our businesses. If there's policies we don't like, we need to be letting our legislatures know so that they can protect and defend us," Best said.

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Even though Emmon's Vintage Me retail hasn't been greatly affected by inflation yet, her daughter runs a small cafe in the back called Lulu's Lunchbox and she's had to raise prices to keep up with the increase in grocery costs.

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