Gas prices hit smaller companies

Rising gas prices hurt most small businesses, but sometimes they help others.

1 of 6
BACKNEXT
Associated Refuse Haulers
Associated Refuse Haulers
Pat Caruso, (third from left), CEO of Associated Refuse Haulers, stands with some employees.
Pat Caruso expected his waste removal company to suffer a little pain from rising gas prices. He was wrong. It's suffering a lot.

Because of the trend, the CEO of Associated Refuse Haulers has had to shell out thousands of dollars in extra daily expenses, and watch his profits take a beating.

"I groan a lot," said Caruso, "and I say, 'Oh my God, when is it going to stop.' "

Associated Refuse Haulers in Monroe, Conn., removes trash and garbage for residential and commercial businesses. In the past, the company has weathered mounting gas prices without much damage.

But this time, Caruso is not so sure.

On top of rising prices for fuel and oil, which Caruso uses to keep the parts in his vehicles moving smoothly -- the company is dealing with higher taxes and pricier inventory and parts.

For a long time, he has absorbed it all, but recently has passed some of the costs onto his commercial customers.

His biggest concern is that gas may be on its way to $5 a gallon and that "will be the tipping point for us and many other companies," he said.

"You will either sink or swim."

--TP

By Catherine Clifford and Tania Padgett

NEXT: Phillip's Flowers
LAST UPDATE: Apr 22 2011 | 2:04 PM ET
Kids music: 5 cool, profitable bands Think kids bands are corny? These five groups are bringing rock star cool to kids music and making a mint doing so. More
6 states with the highest startup ratesSparked by widespread layoffs, government incentives, or just a plain can-do spirit, Americans launched businesses at the highest rate in 15 years in 2009 and 2010. More
Small businesses that are actually hiring! Even though many small businesses are struggling, here is a handful of companies that are growing. More
Sponsors

Market indexes are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer LIBOR Warning: Neither BBA Enterprises Limited, nor the BBA LIBOR Contributor Banks, nor Reuters, can be held liable for any irregularity or inaccuracy of BBA LIBOR. Disclaimer. Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Disclaimer The Dow Jones IndexesSM are proprietary to and distributed by Dow Jones & Company, Inc. and have been licensed for use. All content of the Dow Jones IndexesSM © 2014 is proprietary to Dow Jones & Company, Inc. Chicago Mercantile Association. The market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved. Most stock quote data provided by BATS.