Record high inflation hard on Maritime businesses and consumers

From gas prices to food and accommodations, many Maritimers are feeling the impact of inflation.

“Everything has gone up by 10 or 20 per cent or more,” said Jim Deleski, who often travels for work. The Sydney, N.S., resident says with rising costs, he’s had to pick and choose which trips he can afford.

“I'm seeing hotels that would've been $125 or $150 a night prior to COVID. Last week, I paid $225 for a room that normally I'd get for $150,” said Deleski, adding that in some cases, car rentals have nearly tripled in price.

With inflation climbing, some businesses say they have no choice but to pass the buck onto the consumer.

“We're trying to keep it as modest as possible, and keep them as low as possible,” said restaurant owner Mike Babineau.

He says it’s costing his business much more for products shipped in by truck or train.

“If the customers can understand where we're coming from, and not have a knee jerk reaction on social media and try to destroy small businesses by giving bad reviews, if we all stay positive, I think we will have a great year,” said Babineau.

Some experts predict high prices will keep tourists closer to home this year, despite pent-up desire to travel.

“I think even though we are seeing some increase in prices, which is understandable given the inflation environment we are in, in general, I think that that increase in prices would more than offset with the desire for travel,” said Dalhousie business professor Lorn Sheehan.

Back in Sydney, Deleski believes regardless of inflation, businesses are using the pandemic to raise prices.

“It's easy to use as an excuse now that, you know, because of whatever shortages -- this and that -- they can charge more,” said Deleski. “But the reality is, they’re just charging more and they’re making more profit in the process.”