The most recent business to succumb to the challenges of inflation and rising crime is the renowned 99 Cents Only store chain, which announced it would be closing all stores across the country by May 31st. 

Today, the consumer price index reported a 3.5% rise in inflation this month compared to one year ago. It’s worth noting that the inflation rate is slower from a nationwide high of 9.1% in June 2022. However, for three months, it has trended upward, reversing the downward trend.

Inflation related to the cost of living and food continues to increase incrementally, causing the Los Angeles staple to raise their 99-cent prices from $1.50 to upwards of $7.

The closure of 99 Cents Only will impact the communities that shop at them the most, more than likely those most affected by the rising cost of living and travel expenses.

The impact of the pandemic is not just on the stores themselves but also on the employees. The Dollar Tree and its sister store, Family Dollar, recently announced the closure of 1,000 stores, which will undoubtedly affect many livelihoods. 

Adding to the wave of closures, Macy’s has stated they plan to close 30% of its stores. This move underscores the severity of the situation, with even significant retailers feeling the brunt of the economy.

Americans should know that massive, reckless federal spending fueled inflation, particularly in 2021. The inflation rate has yet to return to pre-COVID levels. On top of that, households face interest rates for mortgages that are two or three times higher because the Federal Reserve raised interest rates to push inflation back down. Rent prices have also risen while many would-be homebuyers are priced out of the home market.

The Biden administration should prioritize policies that aid independent contractors and workers to ensure that everyday Americans can live comfortably. 

Policies such as the new labor rule, which limits independent contracting nationwide, will rob women of flexible work opportunities and vital household income to sustain themselves during difficult economic times.