Arlington Small Business Struggles to Stay Open Through COVID-19 and Supply Chain Issues

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No one may be hoping the end to the coronavirus pandemic is near more than small business owners who have not only struggled through COVID-19 but supply chain issues and worker shortages.

Daisy Banks' love of cooking led to opening Blu Ice Daiquiries restaurant in Arlington.

"I opened up a restaurant because that is my passion cooking and serving others," Banks said.

She opened the small family-run business with great excitement for the future in July 2019.

"Six months and boom COVID hit," Banks said.

She's been able to hold on through it, but now other areas are starting to impact her bottom line. Now she's struggling through supply chain issues and rising prices for her ingredients.

"You used to could get crab legs for $9.99 a pound,” Banks said. “Now they are $17, $18, $20 a pound. So, the cost has doubled. Beef oxtails I used to pay $3.99 a pound. They are as much as $10.99 a pound."

It's a cost she's now having to pass on to customers even though she doesn't want to.

“When you’re a newly-opened business you want to be able to give that customer the same service and the same pricing but it’s hard to do so now,” Banks said.

She's also had a hard time finding employees during the worker shortage.

With one thing after another piling up on her plate she’s faced with a tough decision.

"I am considering closing Blu Ice Daiquiris,” Banks said. “That's not my wish but that's just a reality of things right now."

It's a decision she says she'll continue to put off as long as possible hoping things turn around. "Especially when you start up something from the ground up and from the beginning the last thing you want to do is see your heart, sweat, and tears sold off to somebody else,” Banks said. “We want to keep our business in the community because the small businesses are the ones that actually contribute to the community."

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