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Shipping costs breaking the bank for some suppliers heading into Mardi Gras

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BATON ROUGE - The party is just getting started at Mardi Gras supply stores in the capital city ahead of a busy few weeks. 

“People come in and they say they’re so glad to see us and appreciate that we survived. And it’s really kind of amazing that we were able to," said Nelson Maddox, owner of Parties Start Here. 

Maddox said his business has been scraping by for the last year after the season they rely on the most has been canceled due to the pandemic.

“We ended up having to put a lot of money into the business to keep it afloat because there were no sales for basically a whole year.”

Now that business is back, it's booming. But an unexpected cost is raining on their parade.

“Freight... we didn’t even used to consider it. Now it’s a huge factor," Maddox said. “I wouldn’t doubt that the bill’s gonna be close to $30,000. Two years ago or three years ago freight would be $3,500. That is a huge markup.”

The cost of transportation is preventing the store from making the hefty profits they're used to. As a result, they've had to mark up some items just to break even.

“Unfortunately it’s the first time in 30 years of business that we’ve had to change prices... We adjusted everything a small amount to cover the big amount of freight coming in," Maddox said.

The national upward trend in pricing does not seem to be slowing down anytime soon, and it's throwing business owners like Maddox for a loop.

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