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Shipping costs, delays hurting the bottom line of Tampa Bay small businesses

Posted at 3:32 PM, Nov 10, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-10 17:15:24-05

SEMINOLE HEIGHTS, Fla. — We’ve all heard of small business Saturday where folks are encouraged to shop local but that message may be more important now than ever before.

“Energy costs are going up and basically our business has seen a 30 to 60% increase in shipping costs for our raw ingredients, for our containers and that has really affected the bottom line, the profit margins,” said Kelly Hawaii, co-owner of Lüfka Refillables Zero Waste Store.

And for small businesses who can’t eat that added cost, prices could go up but Hawaii said that won’t happen at her shop.

“We’re not raising our prices because we know that the majority of our customers' salaries haven’t increased even though all of the prices are increasing,” she said.

Plus, she recognizes her store is a movement and a mission to reduce waste and help folks become more sustainable.

“We wanna make it an easy choice for our customers to come in and just keep refilling and they’re not gonna see those increases,” she said. “When someone brings in their own container, they’re not paying for packaging, they’re not paying for labeling, they’re just paying for the product and the ingredients inside.”

Which are all made right here in Tampa, but she said to keep prices down, customers are needed.


“I’m trying to get into more sustainability and do a lot more for the environment,” said Adrian O’Farrill, who stopped by Lüfka Wednesday. “I definitely try to support all the local business as I can, born and raised here in Tampa so it means a lot to me.”
O’Farrill said when you take care of small businesses it helps everyone.

“If everybody came and shopped locally and we support local businesses I mean it’s only gonna help the local economy and I think that’s only gonna be beneficial for the future,” he said.

Right next door, Lysa Bozel, owner of Earth Angel Gifts, said they’re being impacted too.

“We are experiencing some delays, we’ve had things that we’ve ordered in July that we still haven’t received,” she said. “So, we don’t want to jeopardize the quality but we’re trying to work with local vendors.”

And keep prices the same.

“We want them to come into the store, we want their support,” she said. “We want them to come in and the quality is excellent, we want them to have a good experience.”

The City of Tampa has a list of small businesses you can support plus, on Small business Saturday, Seminole Heights does its annual “Shop Hop” where you get a bingo card full of small businesses and if you visit at least six, you can enter a raffle to win prizes.

Learn more about Shop Hop here.