BECKLEY, WV (WVNS) – New Horizons Landscaping is a locally-owned commercial landscaping company that provides landscaping for Beckley restaurants such as Cheddars and Olive Garden, as well as a few apartment complexes and even the Blue Ridge cemetery.
But the rise in gas prices means bad news for businesses like New Horizons that rely on gas every day to power their trucks and equipment.
Owners Tammy and Grant Newhouse said they’re paying about $1,000 a day to gas up their fleet of eight trucks every morning, a number well beyond what they budgeted for.
“Oh it’s a lot more (than we’ve budgeted,) you’re looking at least 400 (dollars) now more than you ever planned for,” said Tammy Newhouse. “Every single day.”
The Newhouses said if you include what it takes to refill the mowers, weed whackers, and other tools, they spend about $1,500 on gas every day. While the increase in fuel costs has not forced them to raise their prices yet, the Newhouses said if the price of gas does not come down soon, they may have no other choice.
“We’re just being calm, we don’t want to send this on to our customers yet,” said Tammy “Next year may be a different thing, but right now we’re just going to hold steady and just budget better.”
Like many small business owners, the Newhouses cut costs in every way they can to get by. They said they gave their landscapers clear instructions to turn their trucks and mowers off whenever possible to save gas, plan out the most fuel-efficient routes, and schedule appointments in the same area on the same day.
“Scheduling one contract next to the next one, to the next one, and that’s the easiest way right now. That’s all we can do because we don’t want to raise our prices to our customers,” said Tammy Newhouse.