Local business owners whose work is powered by gasoline say they have changed how they operate their businesses to offset rising fuel costs.
Most of the changes go unseen by consumers, but some result in them spending more money for certain services.
For example, flower deliveries out of the Stafford Township floral shop Camille’s will cost an extra dollar and may be made by Camille herself in her personal vehicle.
Homeowners who get their yards landscaped by Paul Pettinato and his Designscape crew based in Somers Point will not see their bill increase, but they may notice some of his equipment is in need of repair.
And the Goshen Volunteer Fire Company in Middle Township will always respond to fires, but firefighters are cutting back on training time to save money for unbudgeted fuel costs.
Although gas prices have continued to drop in the past month, they are still $1 per gallon more than they were this time last year. Officials with AAA said the recent decrease from prices hovering around $4 should continue into the July Fourth holiday weekend.
On Monday, the national average for gas was $3.64. In South Jersey, the average was $3.61, AAA figures show.
“We anticipate it’s going to continue to decrease a couple pennies here and there each week,” said Jim Lardear, director of public and government affairs for AAA Mid-Atlantic. “The national average should be $3.60 or below for the rest of summer.”
Lardear said the steady decline in fuel prices — an anomaly compared with the traditional increase in prices during the summer — can be attributed to a decrease in crude oil prices. He said the continued decrease in prices has made 2011 an “atypical year.” The highest average price for regular gas in South Jersey this year was $3.88 per gallon May 5, he said.
He added that gas prices normally are quick to rise but slow to fall.
“Retail prices at the pump go up like a rocket and come down like a parachute,” Lardear said.
Click on the links to the left to hear more about how these businesses are coping with higher gas prices.
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