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'Business has never been this stressful': Supply chain issues hurting small businesses in Dallas

Experts anticipate the current supply chain backlog could stick around through 2022.

DALLAS, Texas — The moment you step into The Toy Maven’s Preston Hollow location in Dallas, you'll find holiday shopping has already begun.

The owner, Candance Williams, said people are getting an early start amid the supply chain backlog.

The COVID pandemic made it challenging to operate her three locations. Now, the latest hurdle is keeping her stores stocked up amid issues in the supply chain. 

“This year has just been exacerbated,” said Williams. “Business has not ever been this stressful. We’ve seen just a litany of missed shipments, things that have gone to the wrong store, just a lot of errors along that part of the supply chain that we normally don’t see.”

Williams said several months ago, her manufacturers gave her an early signal of potential supply chain issues looming over the industry. 

For Williams, the early warnings came between the months of April and May and prompted her to plan ahead. Since then, she has begun stocking up every corner of her stores.

“There are only two rooms in my entire home that do not have floor to ceiling toys stacked in them, and that’s just what we had to do this year to make sure we have product… just put it everywhere,” said Williams.

She’s confident it’s enough to get her team through the holiday season.  

The current supply chain issues come as the nation faces a shortage of warehouse workers and truck drivers. Ports are one of the big bottlenecks in the supply chain right now. This week, the port of Long Beach, California showed cargo ships idling offshore.

The Biden administration announced the port would begin operating 24/7 in an effort to try to ease the backlog ahead of the holiday season.

Dr. David Gligor, a supply chain expert at the University of North Texas, said President Biden’s plan is a step in the right direction.

“It should help, but we can’t expect things to go back to normal within days or maybe not even weeks,” said Gligor. “It’s gonna take a long time to see a significant impact.”

At LaBelle Braiding and Beauty supplies in Dallas, the owner, Cadie Magagne said the supply chain issues are hurting her bottom line.

Most of the hair products and hair extensions sold in her store are made in China.

She told WFAA her orders typically arrive in three to four days. Now, it’s taking about a month.

“This week, I lost so many customers, because they were tired of waiting and they had to go somewhere else and get their hair,” said Magagne.

She’s set to open a third location later this year and desperately hopes the situation improves soon.

“I’m a little bit depressed, because I don’t know how long it’s going to take,” said Magagne.

Experts anticipate businesses and consumers will feel the impact of this well into 2022.