Downtown Kingman rides through economic waves | Kingman Daily Miner

KINGMAN – Small local businesses in the center are feeling the impact of inflation, but have been facing uncertainty for years.

Despite the desire for the COVID-19 pandemic to end completely, Kingman’s small businesses continue to adapt to the uncertain economy while meeting the needs of their customers.

Pete Jaramillo, owner of Shady Grove Records at 209 E. Beale St., said he opened a few months before the pandemic, which equipped him to handle the changing economy.

“Our business is a bit strange because we have always been faced with adversity,” Jaramillo said.

By selling a wide variety of records and CDs, Jaramillo builds his business around what his customers want. He recognizes that his business doesn’t provide products that people need, like food, but he still has a customer base that wants music.

“We learned very quickly about how to change with what’s happening and to try to satisfy our customer base and keep our customers’ needs,” Jaramillo said.

To ease the pressure of inflation, staff are buying more vintage records and customer-requested records. The new discs produced cost more, which makes it harder for Shady Grove Record customers to afford.

“The news has increased. When you already have a very thin margin on something and that price increases by 30% and you have a 30% profit margin on it, there is no way people want to pay that much, ”Jaramillo said.

Jaramillo said he is working with other companies in the center to promote each other. He also said they are offering sales during the holiday season to attract more people to the store and downtown.

“We are trying to find as much inventory as possible to provide people with the things they might want,” Jaramillo said. “We’re going to do a lot of sales and get people to spend their vacation money here instead of with the big corporations.”

Leah Burkhart, owner of Gracie’s Vintage at 209 N. 4th St., said gas was the biggest expense she noticed. To fill her vintage shop with her, she participates in many property and garden sales, which often require her to travel.

Although she noticed that people shop fewer, it didn’t have a serious impact on her business. He has credited his he regulars and Generation Z customers for evaluating his business.

“Right before COVID-19 I had a huge influx of young people and that really helped,” Burkhart said. “It makes me feel old, but I love that they love everything I love.”

Decades of jewelry, clothing and knick-knacks continue to sell despite the changing economy. The holiday season, especially Halloween, is expected to be like previous years and bring more foot traffic.

Burkhart is also the only one who works at Gracie’s Vintage, so if she has a tough month it falls on her, not the staff.

“I think people are just a little bit more aware of their expenses and obviously nothing here is a necessity. I mean, it is, ”Burkhart said with a laugh.

Peggy Moore owns a Farm Stand Foods that specializes in a variety of baked and homemade products. As a salesperson at 66 Market Place at 424 E. Beale St., Moore continues to see customers come in for her products.

She said she feels safer with her business as people will always need food. “You don’t feel so guilty about buying food,” Moore said. “It is something that is going into your body; it is something you are giving to your children.

Raised by a grandmother who lived through the Great Depression, Moore said she felt equipped to handle the change in food and product prices and hopefully teach others to do the same. She is considering hosting courses on how to make basic home products that can save people money in the long run.

“I’d love to help people who are trying to get started,” Moore said while sharing how easy it is to make soap, cheese and pasta.

Although business is persistent, Moore has had to raise the prices of his soups, jellies and jams to match the grocery store costs. She is also concerned about the potential shortage of food such as flour due to grain production in Ukraine and the impact the crisis will have on the overall market. “I’m just trying to stay cheap,” Moore said. “But I won’t change the quality.”

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