💵 Inflation is slowing but NJ consumers still getting wacked
💵 Recent gas price hikes have impacted small biz
💵 Many mom and pop shops still struggling to survive

After moving higher last month gas prices seem to have leveled off for now but the recent increase has made economic recovery even harder for New Jersey’s small businesses.

According to Eileen Kean, the New Jersey state director of the National Federation of Independent Business, while surging inflationary pressures have started cooling off, higher costs for goods and services remain an issue as mom-and-pop stores continue to recover from the pandemic.

She said any additional pressure on the small business sector right now makes a tough situation even tougher.

Lots of empty storefronts

“Sadly, when I’m in different communities, you still see a lot of empty storefronts, the look of some towns has changed dramatically since COVID,” she said.

She said any time the price of gas goes up even a little bit, smaller companies are impacted.

Man Receives Package Delivery
Lisa F. Young, ThinkStock

“It’s not just the cost for deliveries, because small businesses are getting it on the other end from their wholesalers who are facing rising prices, too.”

Profit margins are tight

If the price of gas increases, many small shop owners are forced to pass that increased cost to the consumer “because most small businesses, their margins are already very minimal, so in order to stay alive they have to continually build the price of gas into everything they do," she said.

“Everything is gasoline dependent, so they’re getting it on both sides, from what they’re purchasing to what they’re selling, and really it’s the consumer who pays for this.”

“I recently saw a landscape maintenance person whose contract through the season actually includes the right to increase due to the price of increasing gas, let’s hope this escalating cost doesn’t continue because it’s going to impact the summer season.”

Kean said it’s important to remember small businesses are the backbone of the state’s economy.

David Matthau is a reporter for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach him at david.matthau@townsquaremedia.com

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