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High Gas Prices Still Hurting Self-Employed Business Owners

Tuesday, June 19, 2012
For Immediate Release: Contact:  Kristin Oberlander
(202) 466-2100
koberlander@NASEadmin.org
Twitter: NASEtweets



3 in 5 Cut Down On Business Travel, 37% Were Forced To Increase Prices To Make Ends Meets

Washington, D.C., June 19, 2012 – With gas and energy prices hitting highs in the past few months, the self-employed are cutting back their business activity, according to the National Association for the Self-Employed (NASE). Results from a survey of more than 500 NASE members reveal that fifty-three percent said the rise in prices has moderately or significantly hurt their business. 

“High gas prices are still hurting the self-employed, many of whom depend on their vehicles to conduct the day-to-day work of their businesses,” said NASE President Kristie L. Arslan. “What the self-employed and micro-businesses (10 or fewer employees) truly need is a retroactive update to the Internal Revenue Service’s 2012 mileage deduction. This action would better reflect the high cost of gasoline in the beginning of 2012.”

Three-quarters of the self-employed use their vehicle both for business and personal use. In fact, almost half of respondents said they spent over $250 on gasoline for their vehicles in a month, the largest answer possible to choose in the survey. Nearly 70% said that the cost of gas changes their driving behavior. 

“When business and personal finances are so closely tied, as they often are for the self-employed and micro-businesses, any rise in cost can be significantly damaging to the health of a company,” Arslan said. “Almost three-quarters of our business owners have seen energy costs for their homes rise, as well, which impacts their home offices.”

The following responses are from open-ended questions in the member survey that allowed respondents to voice their concerns:

  • “The prices mean I have less to spend on other items for business.”
  • “I opened another office in a town 40 minutes north to serve my patients in that area who were restricted in their travel by high gas costs.”
  • “I increased prices, reduced my workforce, and implemented new policies on energy use.”
  • “I reduced events attended for business training, professional associations, and contact meetings.”
  • “I try to consolidate business travel to save gas. Unfortunately, I can't pass on the price of gas to my clients.”
See the full survey in the NASE Survey Results section.


Methodology:
The survey was available for NASE members to take in May. Five hundred fifty-nine small business owners opted-in to the online survey and respondents were prohibited from taking it more than once.

Please contact Kristin Oberlander by phone at 202-466-2100 or by email at media@nase.org to schedule an interview with NASE President Kristie L. Arslan on this topic.



About the NASE
The National Association for the Self-Employed (NASE) is the nation's leading resource for the self-employed and micro-businesses, bringing a broad range of benefits to help entrepreneurs succeed and to drive the continued growth of this vital segment of the American economy. The NASE is a 501(c) (6) nonprofit organization and provides big-business advantages to hundreds of thousands of micro-businesses across the United States. For more information, visit the association's website at NASE.org.


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