NORTH LIMA, Ohio - Higher gas prices are not only pinching driver's wallets. Local businesses say the increase is fueling higher out of pocket expenses.
Sheely Furniture and Appliances out of North Lima has had to raise prices on some of the items sold at its store.
The cost of shipping products to the store combined with customer delivery has tipped the extra costs onto the consumer.
"When we started getting hit with our increase in freight and the fuel surcharges, then diesel went up and filling up our own gas tanks here at Sheely's, it really hurt in the pocket book," said Sherry Sheely, Chief Operating Officer of the store.
Last June, Sheely says she gave in after holding out hope for prices at the pump to drop. Free local delivery is still a perk the store offers today, but the cost of some of its items reflect what the business can no longer absorb.
Sheely says consumers will soon notice higher prices on most goods shipped by freight.
And the variety of product may be scaled back.
"I think some stores have elected to keep their inventory a little lower, may not have as much freight coming in at one time to see if maybe gas might go down in between deliveries," she said.
Despite the cost, the show must go on for Boardman Medical Supply in Girard.
Daily deliveries by its 30 vehicles rack up mileage and now, a higher fuel bill.
"We do try to inform our drivers to look to see what stations have the best gas prices and fill up when they can, but, I mean, it's hard," said Jeff Manhood, Director of Operations at Boardman Medical.