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High cost of gas squeezes customers, local businesses
Number of factors could increase prices
0224gas2
Matt Springer, an inside team member, prepares pizza for a customer Thursday at the Papa John’s on Thompson Bridge Road in Gainesville. The number of pickup orders tends to increase as the cost for a gallon of gas increases. - photo by SARA GUEVARA

How are you coping with gas prices?

On Monday, we asked readers how they were coping with higher gas prices. These are the responses:

If it starts going any higher, I will probably have to limit my trips and put no more than 10 gallons in my car whenever I fill up.

Tammy Slay

Trying to make less trips out. I was told (Monday) by a local gas station that (Tuesday) they will be raising the prices to 3.75 a gallon and by the weekend 4.05 a gallon. I filled up (Monday).

Stephanie Keels

Not able to visit with family in TN, scrubbing. Vacation plans ... all so rich oil execs can get richer.

Shawn Howell

What are you doing to cope? Have you bought a new more fuel-efficient car? Started using public transit? Let us know at news@gainesvilletimes.com, facebook.com/gainesvilletimes or @gtimes

 

When gas prices go up, local businesses can't help but take notice.

"Gas prices affect everybody," said Brad Beighley, store manager of Papa John's Pizza on Thompson Bridge Road. "From a sales standpoint as an industry, if (customers) are having to spend 10, 15, 20 cents more at the pump, of course their wallet is going to be tighter."

According to GasBuddy.com, an online gas index, fuel prices are expected to increase between 5 and 8 cents in Georgia and between 5 and 20 cents nationally over the next few days.

Beighley said the high cost of gas impacts businesses like his on different levels. On one end, their products cost them more because fuel prices are factored into the costs of their ingredients.

On the other end, they have to pay their drivers a higher mileage rate in accordance with the current gas prices.

"Then it affects us from a customer standpoint as to whether or not the customer wants to come from home to pick up or have it delivered," Beighley said.

He said he has noticed a trend when gas prices spike.

"When it makes a big jump, when it all of a sudden shoots up 20 cents, our pickups will pick up," Beighley said.

Corinila Hutson, owner of Alene's Flower Cottage in Gainesville, said she notices the exact opposite.

"It's odd, we end up with more deliveries," Hutson said.

Hutson said her business too feels the sting of rising gas prices. Because prices are so high, she said she has to charge her customers a minimum local delivery fee of $5, which has to increase as fuel does.

"We just try to be fair when we do increase; we don't want people to feel robbed or anything, but unfortunately there has to be a fee," Hutson said.

She said sometimes her customers understand the fee and others just don't.

She explained that she too has to pay a fuel surcharge on her inventory, as well as the fuel it takes to deliver the floral arrangements to her customers.

"Prices will likely rise for the next week or two at least as a flurry of concerns prompt oil prices to rise," Patrick DeHaan, senior petroleum analysis of Gasbuddy.com, said.

DeHaan listed a number of factors that could increase gas prices including the political situation in Iran, a refinery fire in Washington, refinery closures in the Northeast, a switch to cleaner burning summer gas, and the upcoming summer driving season.

 

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