Small businesses grapple with rising meat and dairy prices

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ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOV) – Inside City Greens Market in the Grove neighborhood of St. Louis City, the cost of inflation is hitting hard.

“We are actually seeing increases every month with the meat we buy. Of course, that’s an issue for us because we’re focused on providing affordable, quality food to neighborhood residents,” said Lacy Cagle, the market’s executive director.

The market is actually a non-profit organization. Members pay on a sliding scale based on their income, and the store sells food at cost. So, as food prices increase, it has a huge impact on customers.

“For people who are already struggling to afford healthy foods when we have to raise prices, they are feeling the pinch,” Cagle said.

Down the street at The Dogwood, an event space and wedding venue, business is booming again. But inflation is weighing heavily on small businesses.

“Meat and dairy are the two things that have really had the biggest impact,” said Kelly Spencer, owner of The Dogwood and The Social Affair, the catering company inside the venue.

As a catering company, they book customers a year to two years in advance, Spencer calculated the change since booking their 2019 customers.

“We saw our 42% increase,” she said. “He makes you lose your breath.”

They’re honoring every contract, but that means they’re taking the hit after two already tough pandemic years.

“We’re making less money, that’s the whole bottom line, our profit margins have shrunk so much,” she said.

City Greens Market and Social Affair pride themselves on sourcing local ingredients, but local farmers are also feeling the pinch.

Feed prices have gone up, gas prices have gone up, there’s a backlog at the processing plants, and all of that is reflected in the prices you pay at the store. the latest data The USDA shows that food prices at home will have increased by 2-3% this year and eating out will cost 4-5% more this year.

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