High Gas Prices Hurting Local Businesses - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

4/16/04

High Gas Prices Hurting Local Businesses

High gas prices are hurting just about all of us. From consumers to local businesses, particularly delivery services who have to pay these high prices to get their goods out to you. And they describe this hurtful hike in one word..

"Ridiculous!" says Jeff Gaydon who delivers dozens of orders for Orlando's Italian Restaurant.

"I'd say on an average shift maybe 12 to 15 if we're pretty steady," says Jeff.

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He has to use his personal vehicle to make those deliveries all over town, paying up to $1.93 per gallon out of his own pocket. "I'd say $10 a shift and if I work 8 to 10 shifts close to $80 or $100 and it's going up," says Jeff.

Delivery drivers are reimbursed for what they spend on gas. And get half of the delivery fee but say that barely covers their costs. "The delivery charges are between $2.50 and $5.50 and I get half of that," says Jeff.

"They reimburse us per delivery we take and some of them are real close so those don't cost you as much to take as the ones that are far away," says Jeff.

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From food to flowers. Local delivery services are being hit hard.

"Rising gas prices. We have to re-evaluate how we do things now," says Geoffrey Kraatz with College Flowers says his business relies almost completely on flower deliveries.

With more than 100 per day, College Flowers spends $400 a week on gas alone. So, to save passing on these expenses to consumers, he's spending more time planning where his drivers go. "I try not to send out more than 8 deliveries in each vehicle on each run that way the runs tend to be shorter and a little more concise in some areas," says Geoffrey.

To help even more, he's installed radios to communicate with drivers who can't locate an address.

"If they miss a delivery or can't find an address or it's a miss-typed address. Instead of bringing it all the way back we can research it here and they can deliver it while they're out on side. It cuts down on that back and forth time.

Businesses who deliver say they haven't had to raise prices of their products or charge more for deliveries. Not yet, but Geoffrey with College Flowers say if gas prices reach and get above $2 per gallon he may be forced to pass those high expenses on gas to consumers. But delivery services we spoke with are doing everything they can to keep that from happening.

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