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‘It’s definitely affecting the business:’ Local business owners feel the effects of high gas prices

Both business owners, however, say that they are choosing to stay positive in the face of harder times
Published: Mar. 18, 2022 at 5:52 PM EDT
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WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - If your wallet is feeling pain when you leave the gas pump, you’re not alone.

Many local business owners across southeastern North Carolina are also feeling like they’re on empty after they fill up.

“It’s definitely affecting the business,” said Flora Verdi Owner Maria Cholanian.

Flora Verdi is a floral shop in Wilmington, and most of her business comes from deliveries. Cholanian decided not to increase her flower and arrangement prices to customers, but instead, has had to increase the delivery charges.

“We have to absorb the costs of our delivery drivers, our wholesale drivers going up on their fees,” said Cholanian. “So far, they’ve gone up about 30% and that’s going to affect flowers as well.”

She says she hopes things change soon, giving small businesses a break after the past couple of years.

“To be honest with you, I hope the gas prices don’t go up too much more,” said Cholanian. “It’s just enough what we’ve gone through the last couple of years with COVID.”

From the pandemic, to inflation, and now high gas prices. For most business owners, it feels like it’s just another in a long line of complications.

“Higher gas prices, higher taxes; it’s one thing after another,” said BrewBoat Wilmington owner Chris Haynes. “But again, one foot in front of the other and taking it one day at a time.”

Haynes runs a pedal boat charter in the Cape Fear, and says he is going to take the hit himself when it comes to gas prices, not pass it along to his customers.

“We’re blessed to be in business, let’s face it,” said Haynes. “With the state of the world today, we’re just happy to be here — and same price as always.”

Both business owners, however, say that they are choosing to stay positive in the face of harder times.

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