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Survey: Fuel costs hurting small businesses

Soaring fuel and energy costs rank second only to the cost of health care among the problems facing small business owners, a new survey by the National Federation of Independent Business shows.

Survey: Fuel costs hurting small businesses

Soaring fuel and energy costs rank second only to the cost of health care among the problems facing small business owners, a new survey by the National Federation of Independent Business shows.
More than 42 percent of the small business owners nationwide rank the cost of natural gas, propane, gasoline, diesel and fuel oil as a “critical” concern, the NFIB’s Small Business Problems and Priorities survey results indicate.
That’s up from 26 percent on the previous survey, conducted in 2004.
Both surveys ranked the cost of health insurance as the No. 1 issue facing small business owners.
NFIB represents small businesses in a wide range of industries, and many are being hurt by higher fuel prices.
Other findings from the survey include:

  • Small business energy costs are primarily linked to vehicles (38 percent), heating and cooling of occupied space (33 percent), operating equipment or processes (21 percent) and lighting (6 percent).
  • Of the 84 percent of company owners who use vehicles in their business operations, 49 percent did not change much in the last year to counteract the higher price of gasoline and/or diesel. Among those who did, 18 percent rescheduled or changed routing; 16 percent used fewer vehicles or used them less frequently; and 11 percent purchased or leased more energy efficient vehicles.
    The Problems and Priorities series has been published roughly every four years since its inception in 1982, NFIB said.

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