Green Bay area businesses cope with raising gas costs

By Caroline Rowland, WFRV News, created Jan 6, 2011,  Click HERE for link to video.

GREEN BAY, Wis. (WFRV) — In Green Bay, gas prices are slightly above the national average at $3.14 per gallon, and the steady rise is talking it’s toll on local businesses.

At Schroeder’s Flowers, the delivery drivers are always on the go. “Its 75 to 150 deliveries on a typical day. The most I’ve ever done in one day was 1,575,” said owner Charles Schroeder.

The company spends between $4,000 and $15,000 dollars a month on gas. When gas prices goes up the store eats the extra costs.

U & I Movers had to add a fuel surcharge to it’s moving costs that ranges between five and 10 percent.

“When you add that to a cost of a move, it’s almost a couple hundred dollars you have to add on to the move,” said owner Scott Isable.

The fuel surcharge is higher now than two years ago, when gas was $4 a gallon, because business was better back then.

“You, a lot of times, eat a big share of the fuel surcharge,” Isable said.

Non profits are some of the hardest hit businesses, especially organizations like The Red Cross who have a fleet of cars that are always on the road.

“Every time that gas goes up, that expense increases for us,” said Steven Maricque, Executive Directer of the Red Cross Lakeland Chapter.

The Lakeland Red Cross Chapter spends $100,000 annually on gas. If gas stays below $3.50 per gallon it’s budget will be fine. But Maricque says things will change if the price continues to rise.

“Then we’re going to have to make some drastic changes as to how we support the program,” Maricque said.

Schroeder’s is also looking to the future and may get away from gas run vehicles.

“I think that’s probably the answer, have more efficient vehicles,” Schroeder said. For now, the flower shop will deal with the extra costs as best as it can.

The rising gas prices are showing no sign of slowing down. Some analysts project the price could reach $3.75 a gallon by spring.

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