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High Gas Prices Affect North Salem Businesses

NORTH SALEM, N.Y. – Gasoline prices are beginning to creep upward and businesses around Somers and North Salem are feeling the effects.

Cab driver Maria Birch, who works for Al’s Taxi Service in Croton Falls, said gas prices are already “astronomical.”

“We have old police cruisers, so we get good mileage, but most people don’t realize that we work for tips,” Birch said. “I pay for my own gas and all my tips go to buying gas. It’s affecting me very badly. I’m always broke.”

She added, “I have noticed that we’re getting fewer calls for cabs.  Spouses are picking each other up at the station. I guess it’s the general economy.”

Michael Giannone of Croton Falls’ Bella Ella said the price of gas does not affect his general business because his delivery people also pay for their own fuel.

David Propper, owner of The Dry Cleaner in Somers, figures that he is spending an extra $20 per week on fuel, but, “I only deliver two days a week, so that extra $20 hasn’t affected my business much at all.”

“I buy my fuel in bulk,” said North Salem’s Kurt Guldan, owner of Salem Landscaping. “So I’m not affected by rising prices – so far.”

Ralph Piccolo, owner of Somers’ Fratelli Pizza said, “We don’t know how gas prices are affecting us because business is generally slower in the summer. So we’re not making a lot of deliveries.”

The Wall Street Journal reports that gasoline “futures” (the agreed price between two parties for a commodity to be delivered at a future date) are up by 20 percent. It is possible that we may eventually see a related rise in prices at the pump.

Paul Sussman, owner of Somers Mobil on Route 100, said, “My records indicate that the retail price for gas last August was actually about a dime higher than it is this August. But volume is always lower in the summer, so we always see a dip in sales regardless of the price. I’ll be curious to see what happens in September.”

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