Local mobile businesses feeling gas pinch - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Local mobile businesses feeling gas pinch

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Paul Shahen
Eyewitness News Reporter

CHATTANOOGA (WRCB) -- After several weeks of steep gas hikes, it seems they are holding steady. In Chattanooga today, you'll pay around $3.43 for a gallon of regular unleaded. That's the same as yesterday and only a couple cents more than we were paying this time last week.

A month ago, gas was on average $0.43 cheaper than it is now. It's hitting you where it hurts, the wallet. Mobile businesses like delivery services, and cleaning companies are also feeling the pain. You may be wondering, will that added cost be passed along to consumers?

"When it comes down to it, what it affects is people's pockets," says Rob Johnson president of Humphreys Flowers in Chattanooga.

If your business is always on the move like Humphreys flowers, you're going to feel the pinch. When the pinch is too much, as Johnson says, it will in turn affect your pocket, "the next possible choice would be go up on delivery charge or up on the price of flowers. We've had to do that before, and when cost goes back down, we drop them back down."

Fortunately, Johnson hasn't had to do that just yet.

Another industry struggling to keep the tanks off empty is the catering business. Tara Plumlee owns two catering companies, The Carbarn and A Silverware Affair, she'll spend more than $1,000 a week on gas.

"I'm sure we're all in this boat together, with our companies we travel to Knoxville, Atlanta, Nashville, we have extremely high gas prices," says Plumlee.

Plumlee's catering contracts are done months in advance, so when gas prices go up she has to eat the difference.

"We could add a clause that says for escalating gas prices, but we want to cater to our clients needs, take care of them, that's one more hassle they don't want to deal with," added Plumlee.

She says if the business relies on travel for profit, these gas prices will limit profit, leaving owners with a tough decision.

No company wants to raise their prices but if it keeps going up on us it's a cost we incur, and as prices go up, everything else does too," said Plumlee.

The highest a gallon of regular gas in Tennessee sold for was $3.97 in 2008.

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