Small businesses discuss hardships in roundtable discussion with Murphy, GOP members


GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) — Small business owners are hopeful for the future of their work after sitting down the representatives from the North Carolina Republican Party on Tuesday.

A roundtable discussion was held in Greenville at Parker’s BBQ Tuesday morning. Five local businesses sat down with Congressman Greg Murphy and others to talk about pandemic-related issues they’ve faced.

They’re concerned about policies that are directly impacting their small business as well as all of those across the state. One of those concerns is supply chain demand.

“As we look at our supply chain, everything has quadrupled,” said one local business owner. “Togo packaging is up 500 percent. Even our bacon has gone up from $33 a case to $135 a case.”

It’s created inflation on their products.

“We had a contract price for $29 a jug for frying oil, but now we are paying $60 a jug. That’s over 100 percent inflation,” said another Greenville business owner.

Murphy said this is related to American spending policies and partly to do with the worker shortage across the country.

“Look at the economy right prior to the pandemic, it’s an entirely different scenario now because wages are up now because we are artificially cutting back our workforce,” Murphy said.

Michael Whatley, chairman of the North Carolina Republican Party, said he blames part of that on the Democrat Party.

“I think that the Democrats have really squandered the recovery that we were seeing,” Whatley said. “We all understand the pandemic was a seismic shift and it caused a crater in the economy, but the economy was really coming back and getting ready to really move forward more aggressively. The Democrats have taken that because of the policies they have put in place have acted as an absolute break in that.”

Murphy and Whatley said bipartisan policies are going to be necessary to make sure small businesses are able to get the workers and supplies they need to stay afloat during this time.

“In North Carolina, we have a Republican legislature and Democratic governor, so for us to be able to push an agenda that is going to be good for small businesses and all of North Carolina, it’s going to require them to be bipartisan,” Whatley said.

Murphy plans to take the concerns expressed at today’s roundtable to Washington D.C. with him to work on addressing them across the partisan aisle.

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