PHOENIX — With March Madness in full swing, restaurants like Streets of New York are ready to cash in. But all the pizza and wings you can sell may not be able to keep up with the rate of inflation, which if you are keeping score is hovering at 7.5%.
Governor Ducey showed up at the 2nd Street and Camelback Streets of New York restaurant Thursday for some pizza and to find out first-hand what restaurants are up against in today's economy.
"I think that listening, what's on your mind, what are the issues, and how can we be helpful in removing obstacles is something I get out of these," Ducey said. "I go back to the capitol a smarter wiser governor."
Streets of New York employs 370 people. Some of those employees have worked with the company for decades. Owner Lorrie Glaeser said inflation is having an impact on them. The cost of rent, gas, all going up more than a pay raise can cover.
There have also been supply chain issues. Pizza boxes from China were stuck in the cargo hold of a ship for months. Tomatoes from Italy were also late arriving. The price of ingredients like flour, oil, and seasonings all went up. As leases expire, rents are also going up.
"I have 14 restaurants currently. I had to close four this year," Streets of New York Owner Lorrie Glaeser said.
Glaeser opened her first Streets of New York restaurant 45 years ago. Her children and her grandchildren have all played roles in its success. She has survived good times and bad.
Glaeser believes, "this has got to be the worst time I ever experienced," as far as the economy is concerned. So, the chance to sit down with the Governor was an opportunity not to be missed.
"He could help tremendously with taxation," Glaeser said. "What we're paying for city sales tax and state taxes, mind you I never complained about paying taxes ever before but it's making my profitability of my company so much less."
Reducing taxes and regulations on small businesses has been the governor's calling card since first getting elected. That position is not likely to change.
"I think small business owners need consistency, need predictability," Ducey said.