Americans aren’t the only ones outraged by soaring inflation – even tourists are feeling the sticker shock when they land in the Big Apple!
Small business owners have raised specter that soaring prices are hurting the city’s crucial tourism sector as the Bureau of Labor Statistics said on Wednesday the consumer price index hit 9.1% in June, marking the highest level in over 40 years.
“The customers we have, most of them are from Europe, so now they don’t want to buy like they used to,” said Cinthia, owner of the New York Gifts store near Times Square.
“Now they’re like, ‘America is expensive.'”
She added: “So of course it affects businesses, but it affects me personally… I just don’t see it as making a profit.”
At the nearby Halal Fire Grill restaurant, owner Zaina said business was down due to rising costs that need to be passed on to diners.
“Before the season got warmer it was mostly locals, but now it’s warmer it’s mostly tourists,” Zaina said.
“But everyone is trying to save a dollar. Some of them are deterred by the price and they go elsewhere.
The struggling restaurateur added: “I buy the bread, the vegetables – everything like that, I buy it in bulk. All of that has increased dramatically.”
Meanwhile, everyday New Yorkers shopping were telling similar stories of woe.
At a Food Emporium store in Manhattan’s Midtown West neighborhood, retired court worker Brugman Aviles, 55, said, “I have to be more careful about what I buy.”
“Sometimes you buy things on a whim. You can’t do this anymore,” Aviles said.
“You really have to try to find good deals and compare prices. Do what you can. You need to do more math and budgeting.
Aviles added, “I don’t treat myself like I used to.”
Claudia Munoz, 41, general manager of a nearby hotel, said she was buying “different brands” which cost less than what she was used to choosing.
“I love organic brown eggs,” she says.
“Now I only get white eggs, because of the crazy difference in price.”
Munoz added, “I also try to do Amazon Fresh or Whole Foods delivery, that way I don’t waste money going to the store because you have to find ways to reduce your expenses in all sorts of ways. ”
At a Gristedes supermarket in Hell’s Kitchen, Grace, a 64-year-old local, said she had shopped earlier “at another store and I was looking for prime ribs”.
“I used to buy them from this same store years ago and they would sell the whole rack and it was a big pack and it was very cheap,” she recalls.
“I went today it was a pack and they were very thin and it wasn’t the rack it was already cut ribs.”
Grace added, “I just watched them and got so sad, so I left.”
“Spaghetti sauces? Oh my God, I’m going to have to learn how to make my own,” she said.
“Paper towels piss me off. They used to be big buns and now they’re small.
Grace said she previously preferred the “Bounty” brand “because it was cheap, strong, and lasted longer.”
“Now I buy the ones from Duane Read where you get all 6 rolls for $5,” she lamented.