Newport florist: gas prices are slowly eating away at bottom line

NEWPORT, KY (FOX19) - Ohioans and Indianans are paying on average $3.45 for a gallon of regular gas.  In Kentucky it's $3.49.   Soaring gas prices affect everyone in some way, but certain people - and businesses - feel the pinch more quickly and more severely than others might.

Many households are already doing what they can to curb their gas usage.  But for a small business that depends heavily on delivery of its goods to stay afloat, these prices can be suffocating.

Skip Dorl has been there for births, weddings, anniversaries, funerals, and every single Valentine's day.  For the last 42 years, Dorl has seen how flowers touch people's lives.

"I grew up in it. It's just kind of what I knew," said Dorl.

Several years of a slumping economy, though, have meant customers thinking twice before deciding to send flowers, and when they do, sometimes arrangements are smaller, weddings less lavish, hospital stays shorter.

Dorl says customers look at overall price of bouquets. And in today's market, about 20 to 25 percent of the cost doesn't go to flowers, it goes to fuel.

"Obviously its not something any businessman can control and it's so vital to us, with the amount of business we do that's delivered," said Dorl.

Delivering multiple things to places like hospitals eases the cost of trips. But if a single delivery is all the way across town, there's no way around it. To keep the person's business is going to cost him. Dorl hasn't raised his delivery charge in 2 years.

The beauty of blooms continues to be a timeless way to reach out and let someone know you care.  But for the small business florist, and its customers, the bloom is officially off the rose when it comes to how much it costs to get your message across.

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