Small businesses eat the cost of inflation: 'Keep the customer happy or you lose the customer'

Margot Roosevelt and Samantha Masunaga
Los Angeles Times

For Vivian Bowers, owner of a South Los Angeles dry cleaner, inflation hit home when her wholesale cost for hangers soared by 48% in six months.

Vivian Bowers, the owner of Bowers & Sons Cleaners, a second-generation dry cleaner in South Los Angeles, irons a shirt. U.S. dry cleaning prices are up 6.9% year over year, higher than the overall inflation of 6.2%.

Tom Bock, who runs an electric bike dealership in Huntington Beach, California, has had to pay his workers 25% more, on top of a boost in commissions.

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