Pain at the pump trickles down to local businesses

The pain at the pump is trickling down to southwestern Connecticut businesses in various ways.

Many business owners say high oil prices are affecting costs in a number of ways, including delivery charges, plastic utensils and fresh vegetables. Business owners say they are doing everything they can not to pass all of the additional costs onto customers.

The owner of Fairfield-based Chef?s Table, Richard Herzfeld, says the cost of oil has increased everything. He says since plastics are petroleum-based, the price of utensils has increased 30 to 40 percent over the past year.

The cost of corn, wheat and flour has also gone up due to the higher demand for ethanol.

?The cost of making all the soups, sandwiches, salads, everything has gone up higher and quicker than I can raise my prices,? Herzfeld says. ?So, I have to find other places where I can cut back without directly affecting the consumer so much.?

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