Gas Prices Affect Local Businesses

HONOLULU (KHNL) - While the cost for gas is dropping on the Mainland, Hawaii drivers are still feeling the pain at the pump.

Prices aren't as high as they were last year, but local motorists are still paying the highest prices in the country. The average price in Honolulu is $2.81 for a gallon of regular unleaded.

Business owners we talked to say that's not too bad. Still, those prices are forcing them to change the way they operate.

"So we purchased a vehicle like this that allows us to combine routes," said Monty Pereira, sales and marketing director for Watanabe Floral.

The company is delivering flowers more efficiently, using a tour bus-sized vehicle.

"We're also been looking at what's been popular on the Mainland, is getting some Scions. Smaller vehicles that allow us to make deliveries and getting huge savings on gas," said Pereira.

Local gas prices are once again, creeping toward the $3 mark. Some consumers wonder if they'll feel the pain at the pump elsewhere. So far we're hearing, they won't.

Watanabe Floral just raised its delivery price last year and has no plans of increasing it anytime soon. And the same goes for Room Service in Paradise. It's a restaurant delivery company that isn't changing its delivery prices. But gas prices are giving them a high turnover rate.

"We've lost about 5 or 6 in the last month and a half," said Keith Gomes, general manager. "They didn't anticipate having that much mileage and didn't anticipate having that much of a gas bill, gas issue."

Both companies are changing their management styles. It's helping them deal with the fluctuating cost of gas and it's also helping them keep retail costs the same.