When the Covid-19 crisis first hit, demand plummeted for Romy Taormina’s flagship product, a band travelers wear on their wrists to ease nausea. Now that travel is coming back, her business is being whipsawed by the same supply issues that marked the start of the global pandemic.
“We are doing our best to weather this Covid storm and catch the wave to the other side. But it’s been a ride,” says Taormina, the CEO and founder of Psi Health Solutions, the Pacific Grove, California-based maker of Psi Bands.
Her exasperation is felt by small-business owners across a range of industries in the U.S. Besides the global microchip shortage, which President Biden recently called a “national security issue,” electricians can’t source the little plastic boxes they need to rewire light fixtures. Contractors are reporting a 200 percent surge in the price of lumber. Even the supply of Taiwanese tapioca is drying up.