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Rising Gas Prices In South Jersey Hurt Local Business

By Robin Rieger

MOORESTOWN, N.J. (CBS) – Rising gas prices are a pain for everyone, but you could be getting hit in more ways than you think. Pain at the pump is hurting local businesses in south Jersey, which could mean you’ll be paying more for the goods you need.

“This is the truck we go the market in each morning, we load it up and distribute it to smaller vehicles”, said Mark Capriotti, describing an effort to save money on gas.

At Capriotti Brothers in Mayfair, selling produce is a retail and wholesale business and high gas prices impact both.

“With gas prices risin,g we may have to jump prices up a little bit. We’ll do our best not to”, said Capriotti.

Small business owner Mark Capriotti says there’s one thing he wont do to their customers, including Bacio Catering in Moorestown, Chickies’ and Petes’ and others who get Capriotti’s produce delivered daily.

“No surcharges at all”, he said, referring to an extra fee added to invoices to cover gasoline.

This is the balancing act he says between keeping his business competitive and absorbing gas surcharges he has to pay his own suppliers.

“Dry goods, paper goods, waste disposal, trash pickup. $200 a week, extra, in surcharges”, says Capriotti.

“Who likes to pay surcharges? Nobody does”, said Robert Minniti, of Bacio Catering and Marketplace.

Minniti says he knows what will happen if he adds a gas surcharge to his catering customers.

“It doesnt encourage future business”, said Minniti.

It’s bad enough, he says, that rising fuel prices force his customers to spend more to fill their tank.

“That’s $20 less they are going to come in and spend on lunch”, said minniti, who says in turn “It’s less money I have to give my employees raises,
its less money my employees have to go spend, its less money I have to invest in new equipment, it’s money right out of your pocket.”

Minniti appreciates Capriotti’s committment not to pass on a gas surcharge. Both businessmen say what they will pay in higher gas prices that infiltrate all aspects of their business, could possibly pay for a part time employee.

Mark Capriotti says he and his brother keep costs by doing a lot of their own deliveries.

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