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Pain at the pump impacting landscaping businesses in Palm Beach County

'It's making me have to ... add that additional cost to the client,' landscaper says
Landscaper blowing grass, leaves, June 6, 2022
Posted at 3:44 PM, Jun 06, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-06 17:36:56-04

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — With the average price of gas getting closer to $5 a gallon in Palm Beach County, some business owners are feeling the pain.

Each increase at the pump hurts a little more for any business that depends on gas to make a living.

With all of their equipment, filling up their tanks has a whole different meaning for landscapers.

"It's making me have to charge ... add that additional cost to the client, and some of them are unhappy," landscaper John Arnieri said.

Landscaper John Arnieri discuss how gas prices are impacting his business, June 6, 2022
Landscaper John Arnieri shares how the rising fuel prices are impacting his bottom line.

Arnieri owns Native Roots Landscaping Company and has to fuel up, trimmers, blowers and his trucks.

Gasoline is the lifeblood of his business.

"I have to keep going," Arnieri said. "I have to provide for my family, so there is nothing I can do but keep working hard."

The battle now is keeping their customers, something most landscapers are facing.

"It's threatening to where some people are starting to do their yards by themselves," Alex Gonzalez of Havana Gardens Landscaping said.

Alex Gonzalez of Havana Gardens Landscaping, June 6, 2022
Landscaper Alex Gonzalez says some customers have begun doing their own yard work to save money, hurting his business.

Landscapers say some of their equipment requires a higher grade of gas.

"A lot of people don't know that the gas in the two-cycle is 89 octane," Gonzalez said. "You can't put in 87 [octane], so we're paying $5.15 a gallon, just for that."

The cost is especially painful in Palm Beach County since gas prices are among the highest in the state.

"It's probably a more affluent area. People are less price sensitive. You have a lot of million-dollar homes, very nice place to live," GasBuddy analyst Patrick De Haan said. "People are less price sensitive. There may be less competition. The cost of doing business could be higher."

A contractor told WPTV on Monday that his clients on Palm Beach don't seem to mind the price hikes, but that’s not the case with most of the county.