While all responses to our August/September expiration survey are appreciated, we love the submissions that allow us to quote them directly. The following comment comes from Candace Abitbul at Sophia Foods in Brooklyn, New York. This family-owned (very) small business paid $3,700 in extra import taxes in August and expects to pay another $7,000 in September: more than $1,500 per employee in just 2 months!

Small businesses like this one must decide whether to raise prices (and risk sales) or absorb the costs and hope for the best – “essentially playing chicken” as Candace describes it:

It’s hard to compete when you don’t know the actual final cost of the goods. We’re essentially playing “chicken” either with our competitors or our year end profit – destabilizing situation for the whole market! We’ve suffered enough! Cut us a break already!

The end result of these decisions are often bad: Sophia Foods laid off 2 workers when GSP expired and profits plummeted in 2011, as we detailed at the time. Congress needs to cut small businesses a break already and renew GSP so these completely predictable – and avoidable – don’t start happening again.

(PS – If you haven’t filled out our survey, do it here! There’s an option to remain anonymous, so your details won’t show up on the site unless you give explicit permission.)