Higher gas cost is delivery dilemma

| 29 Sep 2011 | 08:41

MILFORD - Gasoline prices are soaring sky high at an alarming rate and local businesses that deliver products or services are feeling the pinch. Lenore Fasula owns Wild Meadow Flowers in Milford. “Business was down this winter and now that we are into our busiest part of the year gas prices are increasing expenses,” she said. Fasula says wholesalers have raised prices and are adding a “fuel surcharge.” Fasula has raised delivery charges to compensate for higher fuel costs. “I was charging $7 for local delivery but I raised that to $10. To go as far as Lords Valley I increased my charge from $10 to $15,” said Fasula. Flower arrangements are less full but no less beautiful to help offset higher costs, Fasula told the Courier. Winter business was lighter for Wild Meadow Flowers which Fasula blames on high gas prices and she hopes that Milford’s seasonal tourist traffic won’t suffer. She noted more people are picking up their flower arrangements instead of getting delivery. Wild Meadow Flowers is cutting down on staff which means she’ll have to be doing more of the “grunt work.” Lou Canovic, owner of Joey’s Pizza in Milford has been putting up with higher fuel cost and increased product prices. “I haven’t changed prices and we’re still giving free delivery, but if the price of gasoline continues to rise I’ll have to charge for delivery,” said Canovic. Canovic said wholesale product prices have risen five or six percent and suppliers now add on $8 to $10 for delivery. He says President Bush is responsible for high gas prices and the weak economy. Bob Stewart owner of Myer The Florist in Milford didn’t want to be negative about the high price of gasoline and tries to plan his deliveries to keep gas costs down. He has been holding the line on delivery prices for the past two years. “At least with gasoline you have some control by scheduling deliveries and using smaller vehicles,” said Stewart. “It’s the ever increasing costs of utilities that has the most damaging effect on business.” The cost of electricity and fuel to heat and cool his place of business Stewart says is what he can’t control which eats away at profits. “If your business has a lot of deliveries you can figure out a way to handle it. It only becomes expensive when a customer wants flowers delivered ’now’ and I have to make a special trip,” remarked Stewart. All three businesses are coping and trying to hold down prices in a weak economy with wholesale prices and fuel costs rising beyond their control. They all are looking forward to an increasing customer count as the tourist season begins.