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Supply chain woes burden Southern Nevada businesses

Shipping containers sit at the port in Long Beach, Calif., last month.
Associated Press

Shipping containers sit at the port in Long Beach, Calif., last month.

It’s known as “The Great Supply Chain Disruption” and it has rattled businesses and consumers in recent months, including in Southern Nevada.

From dentists to contractors, businesses are struggling to get the supplies they need, and when they can the prices are frequently higher.

Southern Nevada’s vital construction industry has seen supply shortages in recent months, said Bob Potter, president of general contractor Affordable Concepts.

“There are very few things that you can get quickly,” he said, “and it changes on a weekly, monthly basis in terms of what you can or cannot get off the shelf.”

Prices for wood have skyrocketed because it’s in short supply for unrelated causes, Potter said.

“There are multiple reasons for that,” he said. “Obviously, COVID is one of them and a lot of the factories shut down; forest fires have been notorious this year that that's impacted the product.”

Potter said the current environment makes it tougher to provide an accurate bid for work and to keep jobs on schedule, both of which put upward pressure on prices.

“There are a lot of people think that they're going to wait and prices are going to come down. And I don't believe prices are going to come down,” he said.

Dentist Sheronda Strider Baraza said she has dealt with shortages of the basics —  gloves and cleaning supplies, for example — and high-tech medical equipment.

Strider Baraza, who is also president of the Southern Nevada Dental Society, told State of Nevada about a months-long effort to purchase a scaling device called a Cavitron.

“We ordered it in June or July, and we were told that it was backordered,” she said. “And we just received it yesterday.”

Kelli Kristo, executive director of Project 150, said the nonprofit that assists homeless teens is having challenges securing turkey dinners they hope to distribute around the holidays.

“We do 4,000 holiday meals every year for the students, and we just now are learning of our turkey shortage,” she said. “I just found out last week that I may have my 4,000 turkeys if we can get them, but I'm going to be paying four times the price of what we did last year and years prior.”

She said she sees empty shelves or higher prices for the basics that her organization provides its clients.

“I understand building supplies and things like that to a certain extent but food, turkeys peanut butter?”

Sheronda Strider Baraza, president, Southern Nevada Dental Society; Bob Potter, president, Affordable Concepts;  Kelli Kristo, executive director, Project 150

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Dave Berns, now a producer for State of Nevada, recently returned to KNPR after having previously worked for the station from 2005 to 2009.