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Inflation is forcing local businesses to make changes

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ATHENS, Ohio (WOUB) – At Union Street Diner in Athens, the highest inflation in decades has forced it to make some frequent menu changes. 

“We stayed with prices a long time,” co-owner Timothy Carman said. “Now, I’ve had menus that I’ve had to do away with in under three months because we just can’t make money with where the prices are.”

Union Street Diner cook preparing
Union Street Diner cook prepares dishes [Maria Monesi | WOUB]
Rising prices for utilities, gas, food, building materials and other supplies is requiring local businesses to make adjustments.

“It’s just adding to all the cost,” Carman said. “It unfortunately is gonna just be passed onto the customer at some point because we can’t just create money.”

At York Paving in Athens, owner Dan Buck has seen his costs go up 17 percent. This makes it harder for companies like his to submit competitive bids against larger companies for projects.

“They can work off a smaller profit margin and we really can’t,” Buck said.

The price increases have led York to raise prices in the new jobs it’s bidding, Buck said. 

Record high gas prices also have affected York’s profit margin. The company does everything it can to conserve fuel. Buck said they try and watch how long they let things run.

A York Paving truck sitting on a construction site
York Paving truck sitting on a construction site. [Maria Monesi | WOUB]
Similarly at D&M Trucking in Guysville, owner Danny Mansfield said he has seen fuel double in cost. He has had to raise his prices to be able to keep up with the high costs.

High energy prices are also impacting Union Street Diner. Its electricity and gas bills have skyrocketed in recent months. 

Despite the toll inflation is taking, both York Paving and Union Street are trying to stay positive in this chaotic time. 

“It’s just what it is,” Carman said. “You gotta take what’s been given to you and you gotta make something of it.”

For Buck, he wants to look for the good and just keep going. 

“I’m just remaining optimistic that we get through it,” he said. “And just really hoping for the best.”