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Inflation rates hit 40-year high; soaring costs eating into Jersey Shore small businesses' bottom lines

Inflation rates hit a 40-year high, and consumer prices jumped 9% over last year. So, how is that impacting summer Jersey Shore travel, when the costs of everything, from the grocery store to the gas station, are more expensive?

News 12 Staff

Jul 15, 2022, 11:24 AM

Updated 704 days ago

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Inflation rates hit a 40-year high, and consumer prices jumped 9% over last year. So, how is that impacting summer Jersey Shore travel, when the costs of everything, from the grocery store to the gas station, are more expensive?
Some businesses in the Belmar area say it seems summer shore travel has slowed since inflation rates started to skyrocket. They say less people are there on the weekdays. Inflation rates are eating into the small business' bottom line and fewer tourists have been coming down the shore.
"Someone who used to come to the beach, four five days a week, are now coming two three days a week, I'm now noticing that more people are bringing lunches,” says Tom Rodgers, owner of Mamalukes.
Inflation prices are impacting tourists too. Marina Lombardi is from Morris County. She's carpooling to save money, as the cost to drive to the shore has doubled.
"I mean, I don't want it to ruin our summer or my summer, nevertheless, but at the end of the day, the price to live has been skyrocketing so saving and doing things has been a sacrifice and a compromise,” says Lombardi.
To compensate for the rising costs and keep employees on the payroll, Mamalukes had to raise its prices.
"We had to raise our prices in the beginning of the season, unfortunately, about three weeks ago, we had to raise the prices again,” says Rodgers. “I didn't foresee a 10% increase in just the food that we're purchasing right now."
It's much the same story at Blend on Main in Manasquan. Owner and chef Lou Smith says the costs of doing business has at least doubled over the last year. He raised his prices by 6%. He says it's not to get rich, but to stay afloat.
"We have 53 employees here,” says Smith. “I've done everything possible to keep them happy and employed and that's at risk of 53 families."
Businesses owners say they do not see an end on the horizon in the rising costs. Some say they know everyone is feeling the squeeze, but any support you can give to the small businesses where you live makes a difference.


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