“We’re just trying to survive.”: Local businesses struggle as gas prices rise, fueling inflation

LELAND, NC (WWAY) — According to AAA of the Carolinas, gas prices have increase by more than 25 cents a gallon just this week in North Carolina.

With gas prices rising, the pump is putting customers and business owners alike between their tanks and a hard place.

Hauling business owners, like Williams Ward say their wallets have been hit hard.

“I’m pretty much just looking out the windshield watching the gas needle fall,” he said.

The Leland man hauls everything from heavy machinery to bridge beams. But because the price of gas has gone up to $4.65 a gallon, Ward worries he may have to choose between his business and providing for his family.

“We were making a pretty decent profit. Now, we’re making no profit. It’s all going in the gas tank. For me, when gas reaches a certain amount, we’re just going to have to quit.”

The costs are driving many who rely on gas to find another line of work, or pass the pump’s prices on to their customers.

“We have to go up in the prices to accommodate for the plumber getting there,” said one man as he filled up his work truck, continuing,  “the electrician getting there, the food getting to the grocery stores.”

According to ARC Transport’s Gary Winstead, that mindset could fuel even more inflation.

“Everything that’s on the store’s shelves that you buy at Walmart, Target, Home Depot, Lowes, Harris Teeter, you name it. Everything is touched by a truck,” Winstead explained.

It now costs $71 to fill up the average car, $29 dollars more than it was this time last year. If pump prices continue to rise, it could drive companies out of business and the cost of necessities up for everyone.

According to Winstead, “You will ultimately see it. If we continue fuel cost escalate like they’ve escalated over the last four months, ultimately it’s going to hit the store shelves and hit your pocketbook.”

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