Local businesses face inflation

Claire Rudinsky, Features Editor

Even before the ongoing war in Ukraine, gas prices were on the rise, and with economic sanctions on Russia, which supplies 8 percent of U.S. oil, specifically crude oil, a key component in gasoline, these prices will only continue to increase. Additionally, with the removal of mask mandates and lowering COVID-19 cases, consumers are once again traveling and consuming at high levels. Consumer items from clothing to food are transported across the country, and with rising gas prices, rising costs may be accompanying. The annual inflation rate in the last month of 2021 was 7 percent, an increase that has not been seen in over three decades. 

As costs rise across the country, Lake Oswego is not immune to the pains of inflation. In a survey of local businesses, all reported experiencing rising costs, although only 60 percent reported raising their own prices due to inflation. Accompanying higher prices are delays in shipping, with the majority of businesses reporting an increase in time between order and delivery. 

One business official stated that they “have had troubles with the availability of a variety of food and non-food products as well as equipment.” 

On the larger trend of consumer habits, one business commented that “The pandemic has led to folks receiving our service in a different way and in a wider variety of ways, but it has not diminished people’s overall demand.” 

While COVID-19 and the ensuing inflation and supply chain crisis have caused a host of problems for entrepreneurs, one business executive spoke to the positive side: “I had to change my business model, keeping refining it as the pandemic unfolds, and be more particular about what jobs I take on.”