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Rising costs add to pandemic pain for small businesses

By MAE ANDERSON
AP Business Writer

NEW YORK (AP) — Sharply higher costs are yet another challenge thrown at business owners by the global pandemic. The unpredictability of shipping, labor and the coronavirus itself have created an environment where owners are often left guessing about when products might arrive and how much they’ll cost. In response, businesses are raising prices, cutting staff hours, dropping some goods and services and nixing free shipping in a delicate balancing act. But with low visibility into how long the higher inflation will last, some owners are increasingly worried about keeping their doors open in the long run.

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