Jersey Shore Mayor Lon Myers warned that small business owners in the area are facing a real catastrophe as they are faced with a soaring inflation, which is currently at a four-decade high.
The businesses up here along the boardwalk and in our beachfront area are very seasonal in nature, so they have a very small period of time to make their money back, the mayor said in an interview on Cavuto: Coast to Coast. When they are dealing with costs and losing profit margins the way they are right now, and they have difficulty bringing employees on, it is creating a real catastrophe for them at home because they have to take this money and it has to last into the next season. The Labor Department said last month that inflation accelerated more than expected to hit a new four-decade high in June.
The consumer price index, a measure of the price for everyday goods, including gasoline, groceries and rents, rose 9.1% in June from a year ago. The price of the product went up 1.3% in the one month period from May. The figures were both higher than the 8.8% headline figure and 1% monthly gain forecast by Refinitiv economists.
The data was the fastest pace of inflation since December 1981.
In June, energy prices increased by 7.5% from the previous month and 41.6% from last year. The gasoline, on average, costs 59.9% more than it did a year ago and 11.2% more than it did in May. In June, the food index climbed by 1% as consumers paid more for items like cereal, chicken, milk and fresh vegetables.
Hotdogs, including summer staples, have been costing more as well. Hot dogs grew by more than 16% compared to the same time last year, and ice cream rose more than 12%.
FOX Business Madison Alworth spoke to Jersey Shore business owners who said people are still spending money on food in the area, but are now budgeting due to the inflationary environment.
Cali Coulter, owner of The Food Shack in Point Pleasant Beach, said her customers have been changing their habits because of the price pressures.
Maybe they are not getting the crumb cakes as an appetizer or they are not getting that extra side of home fries, they are just sticking to what will fill them up and they will be out the door, she said.
The starting salary for an employee last year was $13 an hour, but this year it went up to $16.50, according to Alworth.
She said that items at the Jersey Shore are costing more because of higher costs, including mozzarella sticks, which used to cost $9.95 last year, and have gone up by two dollars this year.
The price increases do not cover the cost business owners must pay for inputs in order to keep prices low to retain customers, according to Alworth.