Friday, April 11, 2008

Rising Gas Prices Hurting Small Businesses

house of representatives small businessA group of small-business owners and experts told a Congressional committee this week that high oil prices are driving down profits and are hurting their bottom lines.
"We are cutting everything we can cut to stay alive,” Pennsylvania trucking company owner Michael J. Graff said.
The Subcommittee on Investigations and Oversight, chaired by Congressman Jason Altmire (PA), heard testimony from a panel of expert witnesses and examined the impact that rising fuel prices are having on small firms.
“Rising gas prices are contributing to the economic slowdown, straining the pocketbooks of hardworking families and the bottom lines of small businesses. Given that small businesses are our nation’s single largest employer, we need to do everything we can to make sure they thrive,” Altmire said.
The business owners and experts explained that the only way many can cover these increased costs is by foregoing any investment in capital or the planned expansion of their business. This would limit job growth at a time when the American economy needs it most.

Americans are sadly learning that pain at the pump also translates to canceled vacations, higher grocery bills and business lay offs. As small businesses operate on razor-thin margins and rely on competitive pricing to remain viable, passing fuel costs on to customers could result in devastating loss of sales or, in the long term, shutting their doors.

John M. Urbanchuk, a consultant who specializes in agriculture and biofuels, said that ethanol already is taking some pressure off gasoline prices and will continue to do so as federal mandates increase for renewable fuel use. View his testimony HERE and read his full report HERE.

More video on the entire hearing is available HERE.

Source: Committee on Small Business, Subcommittee on Investigations and Oversight

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