Gas price ascent continues in Massachusetts, local businesses closely watching

Massachusetts

BOSTON (SHNS/WWLP) – Gas prices in Massachusetts rose again last week, are up sharply over the past three months, and are expected to rise even further.

Drivers paid an average of $2.64 a gallon to fuel up over the past week, AAA Northeast reported Monday. That’s up 8 cents a gallon in just a week and 44 cents a gallon higher than the $2.10 average of early December.

The increases come as lawmakers begin to revisit plans to raise the state gas tax to boost transportation spending and as Massachusetts wades into a still-developing regional transportation emissions reduction compact that is expected to lead to higher gas prices.

Local businesses dependent on making lots of deliveries are carefully watching the surging gas prices. With two and three delivery trucks on the road seven days a week making deliveries as far south as Enfield and Suffield, Connecticut, Durocher Florist owner Heather Sullivan has got to be concerned with the cost of doing business.

“I’ve been noticing the gas prices went up, creeping up. When you’re delivering anywhere from 30, 40, 60 a day it definitely affects us,” said Sullivan.

Especially now, with the arrival of the first spring flowers and the anticipated customer rush to acquire the Daffodils and Irises, Sullivan has a plan to minimize the impact of higher gas prices.

“We have a great website, you can order on line for pick up and you can come into the shop, and you can alleviate the price of gas and the delivery charge that’s involved with it,” said Sullivan.

She’s hopeful that if her customers meet her halfway, there won’t be any need to factor in the steadily rising gas prices with the cost of doing business and the price of a bouquet of flowers.

The national gas price average sits at $2.72 a gallon and is expected to hit at least $2.80 in March, AAA said, predicting local increases of at least 5 to 10 cents a gallon until refinery operations are stable.

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