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Indianapolis small businesses feel the pinch of supply chain issues

Twisted Sisters Gift Shop
Posted at 7:46 PM, Oct 14, 2021

INDIANAPOLIS — Hoosiers should soon expect to pay more and see fewer products on the shelves. The global supply chain issue is trickling down to impact mom-and-pop shops in Indianapolis.

Teresa Fahrbach, the owner of Twisted Sisters, a gift shop located on the northeast side of Indianapolis, said normally by this time of year she would have all her inventory for the holiday season.

This year, that's not the case with the supply chain issues. Right now, she has only about a third of what she ordered, and some of those products arrived damaged.

“In my industry, this quarter, the fourth quarter is the quarter we make our year. If we can’t pull it out, it could be really ugly for a lot of small businesses,” Fahrbach said.

Retail expert Amrou Awaysheh with the IU Kelley School of Business in Indianapolis predicts the full effect of the supply chain issue will be felt in Indiana within the next few weeks. He adds the biggest fallout of the global problem will be felt within small and medium-sized businesses like Fahrbach’s gift shop.

"Unfortunately, when you start talking about it, you almost trigger a larger impact of what's going to happen. If you tell people to shop earlier, more people are going to shop earlier, the shelves are going to be emptied earlier and then you're going to have more of an impact of this. But yes, I think people need to expect a few things. You probably might not find everything you are looking for this year on holiday shelves. You probably shouldn't put it off or hopes that it drops in price because we're probably not going to see the price decreases we're used to,” Awaysheh said.

A note to consumers, Awaysheh suggests not waiting until things go on sale for Black Friday. He said if that product is still available, it probably will not be at a discount. Many products he said have been offloaded from the ports on the coasts, but it will take time to get to Indiana with the truck driver shortage.

"We were all expecting this to work itself out by the end of 2021 and it’s not going to by then. We’re looking at mid-to-late 2022," Awaysheh said.