Triangle’s small businesses are feeling the effects of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine

DURHAM, NC (WTVD) – In three weeks, Favor Desserts will move off South Alston Avenue in Durham.

Owner Kejiuane Hester said the grand opening was repeatedly delayed due to wood supply chain shortages.

“Since COVID, it’s been difficult to get products consistently,” Hester said.

And now, with the Russian onslaught on Ukraine, Hester said he pays $4,500 a week for supplies, double what he would normally pay, and in some cases he is seeing flour shortages from wheat and cream cheese.

“In order for us to survive, we need to raise our prices,” he said.

Ninth Street Bakery in Durham told ABC11 that so far she has not been affected.

But other companies like Favor Desserts are making urgent appeals to customers.

The Cookie People in Raleigh shared a post on Instagram: “When you see small businesses raise prices in the coming months, it’s not to make more money, it’s to stay open.”

Owners of Pressed by Spanglish in Raleigh and Spanglish in downtown Durham say jugs of frying oil can cost them up to $60.

Normally it would only be $17.

“Corn itself has been more expensive than it’s ever been and that’s just insane,” said Spanglish co-owner Doel Gonzalez. “It’s the little aftereffects that you don’t really think about and how a conflict on the other side of the world can affect us.”

Russia and Ukraine are major exporters of wheat, soybeans, corn, timber, oil and natural gas.

Tim Kraft is an associate professor of supply chain management operations at NC State’s Poole College of Management. He said the Russian invasion of Ukraine could have long-term impacts on their harvest seasons once the conflict ends.

“Right now, for me, the biggest concern is the price. There will be shortages. We have seen in the pandemic that we can manage the shortages. We can adapt and adjust. The real impact on the economy is how much it’s going to push up the price of gas, the price of food and push toward higher and higher risk of inflation,” Kraft said.

Experts say the only silver lining in all of this is that since the United States is not heavily dependent on Russian exports, the effect here will not be as bad as for other countries.

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