'Don't want to close': Local businesses hope community response help them stay open as costs soar

Akilah Davis Image
Tuesday, January 17, 2023
Local businesses hope community response helps them weather inflation
Small businesses in the Triangle say help from the community is critical to staying afloat as the cost of key ingredients soars amid high inflation.

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- It's the cost of eggs and other baking staples such as butter and sugar that has Shanae Bryant, owner of Madame B's Bakery, worried. The childhood memories and love for baking have forced her to keep recipes as is. It's likely that inflation could force her business to shut down by the end of the month.

"I don't want to close. I do not want to close my doors but I will not change my product for inflation," said Bryant. "Baking and cooking since I was 9 years old. Our red velvet cake is our signature"

It's even meant that she's had to eat the higher costs of ingredients by not increasing prices. It's Bryant's third year in business and things have gotten tough. She's hoping for sweet success and community support to stay afloat.

"I like to stand firm on a quality product. I don't want the integrity of my product to be affected at all to use a lower ingredient or anything like that," she said. Some days, we may have one or two customers come in all day."

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It's the community support that's helping keep Durham staple Backyard BBQ Pit open.

Tanner Brittan was first introduced to the restaurant when he was a student at UNC-Chapel Hill. He now works within close proximity of the restaurant and often enjoys lunch there.

"The barbecue is top-notch and probably my favorite in the Triangle," said Brittain.

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The restaurant was on the brink of shutting down, but after enlisting the community's support and setting up a GoFundMe page six days ago it has collected more than $30,000.

"Oh, I was on the brink of shutting down," said Fabianne Simmons, the restaurant's owner. "Backyard wouldn't have existed anymore. The community touched my heart so much. I don't want to get emotional right now. For the other businesses, the community is our strength. Our hope."