‘In the midst of chaos’: Small businesses feeling brunt of supply, labor shortages

Nation and World News

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (FOX 46 CHARLOTTE) – Supply chain issues and labor shortages are impacting businesses all over the country, but a lot of smaller ones are taking the brunt of it.

North America’s largest wholesale food distributor, SYSCO, has had to delay or pause service to a “limited number of customers” in various locations around the country due to an unprecedented labor shortage.

SYSCO said the company has been facing price increases in categories like poultry, beef, and paper.

A driver shortage almost put Popbar in NoDa and Camp North End in a bind last week.

Owner Kia Lyons told FOX 46 that the pandemic has made business tough, but it all came to a head last week when her rep at U.S. Foods told her they changed their order minimums.

Lyons placed the order, but when it came time for delivery, the rep told her that they wouldn’t be able to make their delivery and that she’d have to find a way to come get her products herself.

Lyons said the rep handled the situation all wrong and was very unprofessional during the whole situation, so she posted about it on Instagram and got tons of offers for help.

She went on to say that managers at U.S. Foods apologized and were able to deliver her order the following morning, but told her she’d have to find another vendor.

Lyons said it’s just another roadblock they’ll have to overcome.

“We are in the midst of chaos when it comes to every industry right now. Supplies being missing, you know, being short-staffed, all of those things I have a great understanding for, because I have experienced the same thing on a daily basis, but I think it’s just important that we treat each other with kindness during this time,” Lyons said.

Lyons added that strawberries, raspberries, and lemon juice that they use in many of their popsicles have been hard to find and prices are skyrocketing. The school bus driver shortage has also impacted her teen employees in getting to work on time.

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