PHOENIX — For decades Carlyn Mallea has been helping to spread beauty across Arizona, creating floral arrangements for events and weddings as a Valley florist.
“It’s hard,” said Mallea. “It’s hard to stay afloat. It’s hard to stay ahead of it.”
But with COVID-19, inflation, and rising gas prices the owner of Blissful Blooms said it’s never been harder to own a small business.
“The flowers have risen exponentially with the gas,” said Mallea. “Some things have as much as doubled.”
She said even with the average cost of a gallon of gas in Arizona down about $1.50 since June, that hasn’t been reflected in some of her costs.
“It’s so frustrating sometimes the prices are the same, and still more sometimes,” said Mallea. “I’m paying as much as $3.00 for one rose.”
Mallea told ABC15 it’s not just flowers, almost everything she needs to run her business has increased in cost.
She’s had to raise her prices some, but Mallea said she’s trying to keep them reasonable.
“It’s really tough,” said the small business owner. “In fact, the accountant that did my books for me this month said you’re not charging enough.”
On Tuesday, ABC15 checked in with other small businesses that had added surcharges due to gas and inflation.
None of those businesses, right now, said they were halting those extra charges.
Economy expert and ASU professor Dennis Hoffman predicts business owners, like Mallea, should see relief soon.
But he said that relief may lag behind, depending on contracts.
As for the costs of other goods, the supply and demand of it all is complicated and depend on many variables.
“Good news is fuel prices are coming down and we will all benefit to some degree from that,” said Hoffman.