The cost of certain items, such as large lamps and Christmas ornaments, has steadily ticked up because of recent tariffs. Now, Rutherford says the surprise threat of new tariffs on Chinese imports — which President Trump proposed on Twitter this weekend — is further affecting her purchasing plans for Red Barn Mercantile, which sells home goods and gifts in Alexandria.

“We have a huge Christmas business,” said Rutherford. “I’ll still spend the same amount this year; I just don’t know how much product I’ll be able to bring in. We had 11 trees [of holiday ornaments] in the store last year; this year, it’s looking like we might have nine.”…

“You start a business thinking you know how much things are going to cost, and then something like this comes along and changes everything,” said Lisa Hu, who founded the handbag company Lux & Nyx in October 2017. “Are these tariffs going to happen? Are they not? I’m having to make long-term decisions based on the little information I have now.”