Our Opinion: Local businesses rely on community support

Published 12:00 am Monday, July 7, 2008

Whether you skim headlines or the crawlers on the bottom of national news channels, it&8217;s hard to avoid the bombardment of stories that remind us our economy is in a slowdown.

We&8217;ve all heard the out cries of high gas and grocery prices and how it&8217;s hurting the working man, but it&8217;s easy to make a case for how it&8217;s hurting those we like to blame.

Gas stations tend to bear the brunt of commuter frustration when filling your tank empties your checking account. However, many motorists don&8217;t realize they&8217;re just shooting the messenger.

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Have you ever noticed that when the price of fuel skyrockets, some stations either stop selling gas or go out of business? It&8217;s because they can&8217;t afford to buy just to turn around and sell.

The idea of$4 per gallon gas is no more welcome to them than it is to us. In most cases, local gas stations only retain a few pennies per gallon. That has to go toward paying electricity and employees. Not to mention trying to squirrel away a few extra cents to buy the next tanker, which can cost more than $10,000 a pop.

If you don&8217;t go inside and buy a drink, a bag of ice, or something off the shelf, they&8217;re just about breaking even.

Grocery stores are facing record commodity prices and have to pass some of that off to keep from going bankrupt. It&8217;s not their fault. It&8217;s the nature of doing business.

Now more than ever our local businesses are relying on community support to stay afloat. They&8217;re fighting the same fight we are and need our support as much as we need theirs.