Supply chain issues are the latest setback suffered by small businesses that barely survived the pandemic.
“I have eight, 10 vendors and can’t find enough to make an order for anybody,” said Powerprint Tees Co-owner Anne-Marie Bruner.
“Now, we’re running into the production and the ability to get the productt,” said Bruner. “T-shirts are almost impossible to find anymore.”
It is a problem she noticed earlier this summer, just as business started to pick up again. Her suppliers now say the issue may not get resolved until the mid-2022.
T-shirt suppliers in Central Texas are feeling the effects as suppliers cannot get shirts in fast enough.
The owners of Powerprint Tees in Killeen have been in business for 25 years and said they have never experienced anything like this before.
It is now a struggle to get the most basic colors.
It used to take less than an hour to secure an order for clients, now it takes three-to-four.
“These five shirts are coming in from Nevada. The other 10 of the same size are coming in from California,” said Bruner. “What we could do in 10 days now takes three weeks.” It is not just an issue for her.
“Usually, you would just call the company and say, I’d like 200 t-shirts,” said Cassie Fothergill, a band booster president in Belton, “Now, it’s more like, do you have black? Should we chose red?” Fothergill said it was not impossible to secure orders for the band booster. But it took a lot more work this year.
“We’re all learning that we can’t just assume that the item will be there,” said Fothergill. “Whether it’s t-shirts or appliances for our houses or any of those things.” Now, they are prioritizing pre-ordering, hoping those can be filled for the coming months.
“My dad used to say, ‘how do you eat a giant bear?’ One bite at a time,” said Bruner. “So, you don’t look at the big picture you just take small chunks.” Copyright 2021 KWTX. All rights reserved.
For others, though, getting these t-shirts are a way of living. “I guess we realize, that shirts and spirit-wear aren’t essential, they’re kind of a luxury,” said Fothergill. “But I’ll tell you, it’s a big fundraiser for us.”