Small business owners fear delivery problems will drive costs up and put customers off

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Jenny Ryan fears that her knitting workshop could collapse due to delivery problems.

Delivered

Jenny Ryan fears that her knitting workshop could collapse due to delivery problems.

Fiber artist Jenny Ryan must consider closing her knitting business if the stock price continues to rise.

The Covid-19 pandemic is putting global supply chains under severe pressure and disrupting trade for thousands of small businesses across the country.

Ryan sells crochet toys at markets, writes and sells the crochet patterns for the toys, and also runs knitting workshops from her Lower Hutt home.

When she teaches knitting, she supplies all of the knitting needles, threads, and bits and bobs to learn.

But the cost of sourcing needles, yarn, and wool will likely force them to raise the prices of their services.

She has run the small business for the past 18 months, originally sourcing products from the UK.

“But as time went on, things kept getting sold out and they couldn’t be replenished,” she said.

“I now decide where to buy based on who has it in stock, rather than maybe the brand I want to use or what I want to pay for,” she said.

She now bore the cost of this herself and feared that she would put off customers if she raised her prices from $ 40 per course.

“It’s the first on the list of things to do because you don’t have to. If it’s too expensive, they won’t look.

“If the costs keep rising, I’ll soon see if it’s still affordable.”

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Supply chain issues also affect pet food, the auto repair and hardware industries, vehicle imports, and construction supplies. Big toy supplier Planet Fun has urged parents to start thinking about Christmas presents now as toy supplies get stuck in container ships.

Blenheim woman Sue Van Velzen also suffered from delivery problems in her Bagged It store.

She started the business converting old supermarket canvas bags into handbags, but has since expanded to make waterproof swim bags and bean bags made from recycled sails.

And while the sails are difficult to get hold of, the problems didn’t come from there.

“I put a waterproof liner in it and the material is from Auckland, and that’s my challenge.”

Blenheim woman Sue Van Velzen also suffered from delivery problems while trying to run her Bagged It business.

Delivered

Blenheim woman Sue Van Velzen also suffered from delivery problems while trying to run her Bagged It business.

It can make 10 bean bags out of a 50 meter roll, but with a reorder of 12 bean bags and delivery of the roll, which takes up to 10 days, it will be used up in one day by the time it’s in your hands.

That meant she was forced to order in bulk to avoid further delays.

“I have a lot more money than I normally would.

“You’re investing a lot more in your stock before you even have it.”

She also had to exchange products that she could no longer source or because they were imported and the shipping delays were too long.

But she had no problem shipping products to her new home.

If delivery problems became the new normal, she would learn how best to run the business, she said.

It was only the initial workaround that presented a challenge.

“If that happens in early December, I would be pretty worried.”


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