SIOUX FALLS, SD (KELO) — Over the past nearly three years, Americans have gotten used to the constant rise of inflation.

In 2021 and 2022, the country saw rates increase up to eight or nine percent, the highest the country has seen since the early 1980s. While inflation has dipped back to three percent in recent months, business owners say the continual rising costs are impacting spending for everyone.

From sweet treats…

“This summer was definitely a much slower summer than we’ve had in years past. I think a lot of people aren’t spending as much money,” Intoxibakes & Candy Cloud Factory co-owner Shannon Johnson said.

….to dinner out…

“We typically ramp back up about this time and get back into our normal sales; we’re not seeing that increase right now,” Papa Woody’s owner Lisa Esser said. “We’re way down this month.”

…local business owners are feeling the slow down in spending that’s been creeping up for years.

“During COVID we got really scared, because nationally everything was dropping so bad, but we actually are hurting more now than we did during COVID,” Esser said.

As a parent herself, Esser fully understands why so many people are cutting back right now.

“I heard somebody say the other day, ‘I spent so much at the grocery store. We’re not eating out because we can’t afford to have our food spoil at home. So whatever is in the fridge is getting eaten until it’s empty.’ We’re doing the same thing at our house; we’re cutting back on different things,” Esser said.

“When people are cutting spending, usually the luxury items are the first things to go, so a lot of times we’re one of those ones that gets the boot, but thankfully everyone still has birthdays,” Johnson said.

Even though people may be cutting down on their spending right now, when people do decide to buy something, buying local makes a big community impact.

“I understand where you’re at; I think it’s so important to remember it’s the local businesses that are giving you gift cards for your fundraisers, and supporting your baseball team. We employ local and all the money we make here stays local,” Esser said.

Those dollars are even more important right now as many businesses depend on people buying local during the holiday season.

“We’re starting to get a little bit of a ramp up during the holidays; hopefully, it really does. The holidays are our most important time,” Johnson said.

Esser says she thinks their sales were better during the pandemic because of a big push to support local and while many people still feel that way, they are just doing anything they can to make their dollar stretch a little further.