Supply shortages nationwide hurt struggling businesses

Rachel Mills
Updated: May 03, 2021 08:39 PM
Created: May 03, 2021 05:22 PM

(ABC 6 News) - It is harder to get the things we want and need these days. There are shortages of some critical materials for building and just about everything else.  

If you are looking for a new couch, or maybe a new dining room set, Jim Sather, co-owner of Furniture Superstore in Rochester said act now. Shipping these days is a real problem. 

"Some of the companies that used to be six or eight weeks are out to next January, so its a challenge," Sather said. 

Supply is low when it comes to furniture and appliances, but why is demand so high?

"People didn't go out to bars and restaurants so they had more cash. Then they had their tax returns back last spring and then they got stimulus payments," Sather said.  

Sather said all that sitting at home made people realize their homes needed some updates.

But its not just furniture, construction is being hit particularly hard. Contractors said the price of lumber is skyrocketing. 

"Its kind of a perfect storm of everything coming together and Covid is on top of it all. The demand for the materials is high, too, so you've kind of got all that going against each other," Luke Stier, owner of Stier Construction Inc., said.  

Stier said everything from the winter storms on the east coast early this year, to fires in California effect lumber availability.

He said after a long year, we all need to be patient.

"Don't jump into a project and if you find a reputable contractor, us good guys are booked out for a year. That's reality right now. We're booking projects out for next summer right now," Stier said.  

Leaders at the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce said it all goes back to another shortage: a shortage of workers. 

"Labor availability is certainly impacting the supply chain issue. And the longer we have a workforce shortage, the more its going to compress and weigh against supply chain issues," Vicki Stute, vice president of the MN Chamber of Commerce programs and business services said. 

The state chamber of commerce predicts our labor force and supply chains will return to pre-pandemic operations by early 2023.  

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