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Soaring Statewide Gas Prices Affecting Small Businesses

5:59 PM, Jul 23, 2013   |    comments
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Columbia, SC (WLTX) -- It's costing more to fill up at the gas pump, and is affecting travelers and businesses alike.

Parked on the side of the road in Columbia, you'll find small business owners Gerald and Erin Lin. They run the Wurst Wagen, a traveling food cart that's been open since March.

Climbing gas prices have made them worry about their business outlook.

"It impacts on [sic] how much traveling we can do," said Erin Lin. "We get requests to go out of town a good bit, and we really have to plan and budget if it's going to be a small event."

Both she and her husband started the business after her husband lost his job in 2009 at the height of the financial crisis that hit the county.

"In order to make up the gas price difference we have to increase our volume in service," said Gerard Lin. "The only way we can increase that is service two shifts."

In South Carolina, prices have jumped nearly eight cents per gallon since June. The Lin's travel over 100 miles each week to reach their customers, a total expense of about $850 each week on travel.

Statewide prices have increased over fifteen cents in the past year.

To offset the difference in a growing diluted revenue, they often work more than two locations in a day. But they said that causes problems in itself, because then they spend more money on gas as well.

"If they continue to rise," Mrs. Lin said, "we won't be able to leave town, basically. It could really dampen our business, if not make us close one day."

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