Lawn care startup squeezed by souring gas prices in Cincinnati

Because of gas prices and the cost of insurance, Dan Brill decided to get rid of his car last year.”I just don’t need it,” Brill said. Now a committed bus rider who calls Covington home, Brill breathes a sigh of relief when he passes a gas station knowing the money he makes is not trying to keep pace with souring pump prices.”It makes me feel pretty good,” he said. “And a lot of people come in (to the store where Brill works) complaining about the gas and I was, like, I’m so glad I don’t have to do that. But a lot of people are forced to – they have to do that. There’s no other way they can get to work. So I’m very fortunate that with that.Chad Simms is among those who have jobs powered by gasoline.In March, Simms and his 13-year-old son , Monroe, started a business called C-and-M Lawn Care.”It kind of took off way faster than I thought,” Simm said.Simms’ son has learned how to use a zero-turn mower to help the duo take care of more than two dozen yards. But their business growth has been dampened by gas prices that have risen nearly $1 since they started three months ago. “We have two mowers, you know, weed eaters – all that stuff,” Simms said. “And what I realized was I was going to have to do a little bit more than what I had initially wanted to do, to kind of be able to pay my son a little bit; but then, you know, of course pay for my mowers and gas for my vehicle. It definitely was a little bit more of a stressor than what I thought it would be.”Simms said what used to be $80 fill-ups are now double – at $160.”Even from March until now I can just tell a big difference in the amount of money we’re spending for gas,” he said. “You know, it’s affected just my little business in a lot of ways. And now it’s $5 a gallon. I just don’t know when it’s going to stop.”Simms works with his customers to determine what’s reasonable when it comes to cutting their yard. He doesn’t plan to raise prices this summer, but he said if the cost of gas keeps climbing, he may have to do just that next year.

Because of gas prices and the cost of insurance, Dan Brill decided to get rid of his car last year.

“I just don’t need it,” Brill said.

Now a committed bus rider who calls Covington home, Brill breathes a sigh of relief when he passes a gas station knowing the money he makes is not trying to keep pace with souring pump prices.

“It makes me feel pretty good,” he said. “And a lot of people come in (to the store where Brill works) complaining about the gas and I was, like, I’m so glad I don’t have to do that. But a lot of people are forced to – they have to do that. There’s no other way they can get to work. So I’m very fortunate that with that.”

Chad Simms is among those who have jobs powered by gasoline.

In March, Simms and his 13-year-old son, Monroe, started a business called C-and-M Lawn Care.

“It kind of took off way faster than I thought,” Simm said.

Simms’ son has learned how to use a zero-turn mower to help the duo take care of more than two dozen yards.

But their business growth has been dampened by gas prices that have risen nearly $1 since they started three months ago.

“We have two mowers, you know, weed eaters – all that stuff,” Simms said. “And what I realized was I was going to have to do a little bit more than what I had initially wanted to do, to kind of be able to pay my son a little bit; but then, you know, of course pay for my mowers and gas for my vehicle. It definitely was a little bit more of a stressor than what I thought it would be.”

Simms said what used to be $80 fill-ups are now double – at $160.

“Even from March until now I can just tell a big difference in the amount of money we’re spending for gas,” he said. “You know, it’s affected just my little business in a lot of ways. And now it’s $5 a gallon. I just don’t know when it’s going to stop.”

Simms works with his customers to determine what’s reasonable when it comes to cutting their yard.

He doesn’t plan to raise prices this summer, but he said if the cost of gas keeps climbing, he may have to do just that next year.

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