Businesses suffer with rising prices

June 3, 2008 8:22:04 PM PDT
High gas prices are forcing a lot of business owners to make some tough decisions, increase their prices or cut back service. And it's especially tough for businesses that offer free delivery.

For John Howland, pizza's are his bread and butter, but the money he pays his drivers for gas and the rising cost of ingredients to make pizza's are eating up all his dough. So he now has to charge extra for what used to be free home delivery.

"We instituted a fuel charge, to help the delivery drivers make enough to stay on the road, and we watch our prices. As food cost have gone up our prices haven't," Howland said.

He isn't the only business owner concerned about rising gas prices. Vonda Duer operates a mobile pet grooming service.

When she first went into business six years ago, she says gas was a $1.60 a gallon. Now a fill-up costs her $120.00, and her van only gets about 7 miles per gallon. Now she's working twice as hard and barely paying the bills.

"And we are about at that point because we just can't absorb it anymore, and we have been absorbing it for so long that it is really hurting us," said Vonda Duer, owner of Great Paws.

High gas prices are also taking a big bite out of Chris Morton's bottom line.

Like so many other businesses the hope mills florist is charging more for deliveries to pay for the gas.

"If you charge too much, you lose customers. They think what are your trying to do price gouge you know. So you don't want them to feel like that, but I mean you got to pass the price down to the customer, you can't eat but so much," Morton said.

It's certainly a sign of the times, but most of the business owners we talked with say by and large customers seem to understand paying a surcharge is just part of the price.


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