Law aims to tackle microchip shortage in Northland

Cloquet business hit by microchip shortage.
Cloquet business hit by microchip shortage.(Reporter: Mitchell Zimmermann)
Published: Aug. 3, 2022 at 5:55 PM CDT
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CLOQUET, MN. (KBJR) - Daugherty Appliance Sales and Service in Cloquet has struggled to get appliances into their doors in the last two years.

“There are still a lot of back orders and a lot of delays out there,” Tom Bredigheimer, the owner of the store said.

He owns and manages the business, which sells all kinds of appliances, from fridges to dishwashers, to microwaves.

“There’s ovens with cameras that you can view what’s baking and look at your food while it’s baking,” he said.

In order for ovens like that to work, they need something called a microchip. Those have recently been in high demand, but not in high supply.

“Almost all the refrigerators have computer circuit in the boards now,” Bredigheimer said.

And he said it’s been harder to get appliances like fridges into their doors.

“The chips probably have been a pretty big factor in that too,” he said, “the last several months we have been getting a little bit back to normal.”

The Chips and Science Act, signed by President Biden this week, hopes to stop those delays.

The Act will fund $280 billion worth of manufacturing and research on microchips in the United States. Senator Tina Smith (D), said Wednesday, it will directly impact Minnesotans.

“That’s gonna give us more reliability, it means that prices will be more stable and that’s gonna benefit people in Minnesota,” she said.

Most chips are currently made in Asia, which Smith said means the U.S. has to rely on to get for things like cars and even snow plows.

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