The Gas Crisis: How It Affects Small Businesses

At the time this article is being published, gas prices are at a record high – the average price for a gallon of regular gas in Connecticut is $4.45. If you’re one of those unfortunate souls whose thirsty car only accepts premium, you could be paying as much as $5.30/gallon. Still, it’s better than a month ago when regular was running over $5 and diesel, well, just ouch. But lest we forget, gas prices in the U.S. are low compared to the rest of the globe… once you do the liter to gallon and the euro to dollar conversion, our friends in Europe are paying about double that. Yes, double.

But let’s get back to home. What does that mean for small businesses in Connecticut?

If you work from home, no biggie, right? Doesn’t really affect you. But what if you’re a vendor who needs to deliver your goods. In a big, thirsty truck. From town to town. What if you’re a salesperson who spends a good chunk of time on the road, and you track your mileage, it’s rough. Gas prices far exceed the mileage stipend and make you second guess every trip, and curse every detour. Small business owners and hourly workers – contractors, freelancers – are getting hit the hardest. Every mile and every gallon eats into profit margin and makes being on the road more costly. In fact, in a recent survey, 81% of hourly workers reported that higher gas costs have cut into their ability to pay for other things. 77% percent say that financial stress is impacting their health — and 22% report turning to payday loans this year.

What can you do to combat this financial crunch?

  • Shorten your commute. If you’re commuting to a far-off office 5 days a week, consider the possibility of working from home a few days a week. Many companies have relaxed their rules about being on-site… today’s gas prices are another good reason to stay home.
  • Rent part-time office space. If your commute is long, consider shortening your commute by renting flexible office space on a daily, weekly or even hourly basis. Instead of traveling all the way to a vendor or client arrange to meet at a rented office, to trim your gas costs while still doing business effectively.
  • Work smarter, not harder. Instead of getting in the car and traveling to a meeting, ask yourself if it’s really needed. Would a Zoom meeting or a quick FaceTime suffice? Or better yet, ask yourself, “could the meeting have been an email?”
  • Meet locally. If you’re a small business in the Hartford area, hold your next meeting, training or conference at a location that’s central to Boston, New York and Hartford. Sobon & Associates is Central Connecticut’s leading service for office, meeting and conference space. We offer board rooms for larger meetings, classroom-style rooms for trainings and workshops, as well as furnished and unfurnished office space.

Located at the junction of Rt. 84 and Rt. 691, Sobon & Associates offers flexible and/or private office space for Central Connecticut on an hourly, daily or monthly basis. We have limited spots available, so contact us now!