Small retailers are beginning to feel like it's 2013 all over again, as well as the year before that and the year before that.
"We are all thinking, 'We are going to get out of this, we are going to get out of this,'" said Rosemary De St. Jean, owner of Rosemary's Heritage Flowers, in Crown Point. "But it's just not happening fast."
The economic recovery from the last recession has been one of the slowest on record, and retailers are still waiting for that breakout year. Still, business is good enough at Rosemary's Heritage Flowers that the business bought a new delivery van last year and would like to add another employee this year.
"I personally at this business did fine," De St. Jean said. "I would have liked to do better, but I did pay the bills."
Rosemary and fellow retailers she talks with at the Crossroads Regional Chamber of Commerce all struggle with freight surcharges added for everything from gasoline to shipping and handling. The increasing frequency of surcharge hikes has retailers wondering why shippers and wholesalers don't just roll the cost into the price.