DALLAS — Rapidly escalating gas prices are on a collision course with the recovering economy. It's especially threatening to small businesses trying to get back on their feet.
But some entrepreneurs are being proactive — trying techniques that save hundreds of dollars a month.
Kelton Fuller can restore worn out leather in a matter of minutes. He's having a harder time, though, figuring out what to do about the pain at the pump.
"This is huge," he said. "If it continues to go up, it's really going to hurt small businesses."
Fuller used to jump in his van and race to customers. Not anymore. He leaves that van parked as often as possible.
"The number one thing I do now is have people send in photos of the damaged goods so that we can tell from that if it's fixable, where it can be fixed, and for how much," he explained. "That keeps us from driving out."
That operational shift alone has saved Fuller and his Fibrenew business $100 a month.
Still, as the economy begins to recover, spiking gas prices threaten small businesses like his.
On March 1 last year, Dallas-Fort Worth motorists were paying $2.58 for a gallon for regular unleaded.
Today the price is up to $3.46.
Small businesses and non-profits — which are ever-mindful of their bottom line — tell News 8 they now rely more on GPS technology, setting their devices to "the most direct route" to avoid extra miles.
"We try to be efficient by not running all over the place and planning out our jobs," Fuller said. "It's just being a more efficient business."
A March 31 gasoline boycott is being organized on Facebook to protest rising prices. Experts say these things never really work, but so far, this movement already has more than a million "friends."