The Impact of Tariffs on Small Business

As the administration continues to advance harmful tariff policies, small retailers are already beginning to feel the pain, seeing higher costs from suppliers and uncertainty that makes planning for the future difficult. With limited financial resources, small business owners are among those most vulnerable to the negative impact of tariffs and will have little option but to raise prices and delay hiring new employees and growing their businesses.

NRF talked with small business owners from across the country to learn more about how the tariffs already in effect and those that are planned are impacting retailers. Watch the videos to learn more.

Tariffs make "made in the US" model too costly

Vivacity Sportswear creates athletic wear that is manufactured in the United States with imported technical fabrics and components from other countries, including China. Owner Vivian Sayward is concerned that rising costs due to tariffs will make it impossible to keep manufacturing in the U.S. Watch the video to learn more.

Main Street impact

Ken Keiran, owner of Union Farm Equipment in Union, Maine, says tariffs have already meant prices increases for many of the products he sells, including both those imported from other countries and those built in the United States from imported parts. Tariffs will impact profits, be passed along to consumers and impact the whole community, he says. Watch the video.

'A huge unknown'

With more than 85 percent of the products in her store imported from China, owner Tiffany Williams of The Luggage Shop of Lubbock says tariffs on travel goods will be detrimental to her business. Even prior to the recent implementation of tariffs on luggage, suppliers had already warned that costs will increase, leading Williams to raise prices on some items by up to 25 percent.

A 'tax on the consumer'

American Sale has been in business in the Chicago area for 60 years and has nine locations that sell pools, spas and home recreation items, most of which are imported from China and Canada. Owner Bob Jones describes how tariffs increase costs at every stage of the supply chain and ultimately hurt the consumer. Watch the video to learn more.

No time to plan

Creative Kidstuff, a toy store in Minnesota, brings the best and most innovative toys and products for kids from all over the world to families in the Twin Cities. President Roberta Bonoff says that proposed tariffs on toys and other goods would raise the cost of imports to the point she'd have to change her business model, and ultimately raise prices for local consumers. Watch the video to learn more.

'There has to be a better way'

Schaefer’s TV and Appliance in Lincoln, Neb., has been open since 1946 and employs 90 full-time employees. Owner Ron Romero says he’s seen the cost of appliances increase already, and he expects new tariffs to cause additional price increases which will ultimately hurt consumers. Watch the video to learn more about how tariffs are impacting Schaefer’s TV and Appliance or read more.

No 'wiggle room' to absorb price increases

Nicole Panettieri’s boutique, The Brass Owl, is a style haven for fashionable shoe and accessory lovers in Queens, New York. But Panettieri is concerned that tariffs from the growing trade war with China will threaten her ability to hire new employees, and warns she will have to increase prices to stay afloat. Watch the video or listen to Panettieri’s story on NRF’s Retail Gets Real podcast.