CHICAGO (CBS) – Continuing high fuel prices are having a big impact on Chicago’s economy.
CBS 2’s Dorothy Tucker looks at the winners and the losers.
Although consumers don’t like paying almost $4 a gallon for gas, there are some businesses that actually benefit when prices are this high. On the other hand, there are companies that suffer more than most.
It’s been a good year for Robin O’Grady, owner of Edible Arrangements. Sales are up about 10 percent. But like many small business owners, she’s worried about rising gas prices.
Already her gas costs have shot up about 40 percent. She’s looking for ways to cut back; she knows her customers are doing the same.
“They’re going to rearrange their budget,” she says. “Because we sell gifts, it’s going to reach out to us. It’s going to hurt us.”
O’Grady has a right to be concerned. Customers like Erica Knight are already reacting to the pain at the pump.
“I won’t come here as much, but I still will come,” Knight says.
While small businesses like O’Grady’s are bracing for fewer customers because of soaring gas prices, other businesses are preparing for a boom.
Marc Condie is a salesman for Downtown Comfort Inn. He was here in 2008 when local gas prices hit the $4 mark. Reservations spiked as people stayed closer to home, rather than going on elaborate vacations.
Hotels around the city expect a similar reaction this time as vacationers from neighboring states skip more expensive trips and take advantage of Chicago’s close proximity.
And hotels like Comfort Inn are making make it more attractive by being one of the first to offer a $50 gas card for a two night stay.
There is some fine print you need to read to get the $50 gas card, but it looks like a good deal.
Small businesses like O’Grady are also talking about offering special deals. They’re trying to do everything to keep customers coming back.