By Caroline Cummings

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Supply chain woes are crippling businesses both large and small. On Wednesday, a panel on Capitol Hill heard the concerns of some of them, including two Minnesota companies.

Minnesota Congressman Dean Phillips chaired a U.S. House hearing Wednesday morning, seeking input from the very people impacted by the global supply chain challenges.

Businesses described a whole slate of problems from worker shortages, increasing costs for shipping and supplies and skyrocketing demand that’s putting pressure on the transportation of goods.

Two Minnesota businesses — third party logistics company C.H. Robinson in Eden Prairie, and Maud Borup, a candy and food gift company in Plymouth — spoke to these issues. A top executive at C.H. Robinson underscored the truck driver shortage that predated the pandemic. He suggested expanding training and incentives that boost quality of life.

Maud Borup detailed a “dire” worker shortage, down 100 people. Even with a 36% salary bump, it’s not helping.

“The situation is so severe that despite a purchase of six acres of land adjacent to our lot, our business has to put expansion plans on hold. Our desire is to continue to operate in our corner of Minnesota, where our current workforce shortages are unsustainable,” Maud Borup CEO Christine Lantinen said.

Census data shows the Twin Cities metro has the worst housing shortage in the nation. This comes as the cost of supplies to build is increasing.

One Florida homebuilding small business owner testified that usually they get notices from suppliers of price increases once a year. Now he says those notices come every week.

Caroline Cummings