National supply chain challenges impact local SC business

Updated: May. 13, 2021 at 12:17 PM EDT
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MCCLELLANVILLE, S.C. (WCSC) - Supply chain challenges facing multiple industries big and small nationwide are now taking a toll on local businesses.

The owner of Uncle Percy’s Village Market in McClellanville, Percy Smith, says he has delayed opening his store multiple times because supply of necessary items seems to disappear faster than he can get them in the door.

“We thought we’re going to open April 15, we thought we were going to open May 1, May 15 we just canceled because of supply shortages so now we’re just kind of in limbo on when we’re going to open,” Smith said.

Kent Gourdin, the director for global logistics and transportation at the College of Charleston, said the small-town market is not alone. Between supply chain shortages lingering during the Coronavirus pandemic and decreased gas supply in the Southeast, any interruptions of deliveries or production can create a shortage of everyday items.

“I think all of us have realized that there are products that are still not on the shelves, there they’re just not there and it’s for reasons that go beyond the item itself,” Gourdin said. “We have made everything, the whole process, the whole supply chain so efficient that there’s not room for error, error in the case of the pandemic, error in the case of the pipeline shut down.”

Smith said his store is waiting on thousands of dollars’ worth of packages to be delivered.

“With the gas shortage we have thousands of dollars of FedEx products that we can’t get to our store, we have an equipment shortage of equipment pieces we can’t get parts we need to fix things,” Smith said.

Gourdin said the delays in deliveries can be impacted not just by the current gas shortage, but the heightened demand for delivery services during the pandemic.

“Like anything else, they’ve just been swamped with demand that was kind of unforeseen,” Gourdin said.

For Smith, he’s not giving up on his small-town market, no matter the wait.

“It’s a minor setback for us,” Smith said. “But you have to say that we’re still opening something in a pandemic that we didn’t stop. We didn’t say you know we’re going to give up.”

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