Fuel costs add pressure to Canberra small businesses | The Canberra Times

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Skyrocketing fuel costs have significantly impacted businesses across the capital and have forced some to take drastic measures to stay afloat. Prices have hit $2.30 a liter as pressures from the Ukraine-Russia war have far reaching consequences. Owner of Canberra Country Freight and CBR Logistics Jeremy Godfrey is in the process of moving his businesses from two sites to one to save money on the lease. “We can’t afford the lease with all this extra cost,” he said. He said diesel had gone up 90 cents per liter in three months, which was a “massive massive hit” to the business. The Canberra Times understands many trucking and logistics companies in the ACT have raised their fuel levies to up to 20 per cent to try and cover costs. One business reported a daily increase of $4000 to fuel up vehicles. The jacked up fuel prices are the latest in a series of blows to the industry. Loss of business due to COVID-19, staff furloughed due to quarantine, goods stuck overseas and now a 65 per cent increase in diesel prices have all taken a toll. Mr Godfrey said vehicles were sitting around with no one to drive them as staff remained home-bound on seven day quarantine. Owner of Vino + Co Tours and Valley Limousines Aaron O’Brien has 14 vehicles in total ranging from limousines and coaches to sedans and they all need to be regularly fueled. Mr O’Brien said the price increase was “absolutely massive” for small businesses around Australia. While some companies can add surcharges, Mr O’Brien has existing contracts in place with the price surge eating into profit margins. “There’s not a hell of a lot we can do, we’re governed by these fuel prices,” he said. “We’re coming out of two years of pretty average business and a lot of lock downs and uncertainty, and now we’ve got rising fuel costs, which don’t look like slowing up anytime soon. “We’ve sort of just got to grin and bear it and try and push forward.” READ ALSO: The businessman held concerns the prices would also hamper tourism in the capital with Sydney-siders less likely to make the trip to local wineries due to the added expense. This newest challenge comes after two years of uncertainty for many people across the region. Mr O’Brien said many people had struggled with their bank balances “looking a little bit grim”. He was worried the added cost of fuel might be “the last straw” for many business owners in the capital. Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community.


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