Business owners say reopening has been challenging

Adine Viscusi’s third-generation family business in Schenectady makes the sauce – and the cost of doing business has only gotten more expensive, while supply chain issues have created chaos.

“Commodity costs are going up. In terms of commodity costs, everything we have is growing exponentially,” she said. “We have to pass a lot of stuff on to our customers, which is unfortunate because that means higher prices in grocery stores.”

New York businesses are struggling to find ways to adapt to an uncertain economy. Borrowing costs are getting higher, while the cost of raw materials, fuel and energy prices squeezes just about everyone.

At the same time, business owners must adapt to a tighter labor market.

“We’ve struggled to maintain staff and hire people,” Viscusi said. “A lot of people, it feels like they just don’t want to work, and I think they’ve reimagined what they’re willing to work for.”

Viscusi was one of the business owners in a roundtable discussion with Democratic House of Representatives on Wednesday. Congressman. Paul Tonko. He acknowledged that inflation will not be resolved overnight. But he pointed to efforts such as boosting U.S. computer chip manufacturing to lower the cost of goods such as cars and smartphones.

“We’re responding to that right now, but it will take some time for inflation to moderate,” he said.

The roundtable of more than a dozen business owners and representatives comes as New York tries to capitalize on efforts to bring high-tech computer chip manufacturing into the state. The hope is that the northern economy – which has been struggling for generations – will benefit from high-paying jobs and spin-offs.

New York is also working more broadly to restore jobs lost during the early months of the pandemic and the closure of businesses and other public gathering places.

Sonya del Peral said her business has been on a roller coaster during the pandemic. She is the general manager of Nine Tasting Wines, a company that has grown in size in recent years.

“We’ve been fortunate to build a brand and have very loyal fans,” she said.

But business could be better. She wants New York State to allow customers to order her cider directly to their homes, which was allowed in the early months of the pandemic.

“We’re working hard to advocate for this right, and we hope it will eventually come to New York State,” she said.

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