The recent unrest in the Middle East is creating economic issues for many consumers and small business owners across the country, as insecurity in oil-producing countries causes skyrocketing gas prices here at home. Specifically, struggling companies that thought they had survived the worst of the Recession are now faced with soaring oil prices and no solution to handle this sudden need for more cash assets.
According to a new report by The Huffington Post, “A higher oil price translates into higher gas prices for consumers and higher transportation costs for businesses. Small businesses, which create 70 percent of the nation's jobs, according to government estimates, have been hit especially hard. Just as the economy has begun showing signs that a real recovery is gathering momentum, high fuel prices now threaten to impede progress. The price of a barrel of Brent crude, an industry benchmark, has risen 20 percent since the beginning of the year, going from about $95 to nearly $114. It's the highest price since the fall of 2008, after a summer of record-high oil prices helped drag the economy into recession.”
This gas price hike is especially tough on small businesses and farmers who depend on deliveries and shipments in order to make a living, sometimes adding thousands of dollars to monthly bills and possibly thwarting other opportunities to restructure, save or even hire new workers. But even businesses that don’t transport goods are feeling pinched, as vendors pass on the cost of gas prices to those business owners they serve.
In the end, this domino effect can only mean one thing: eventually the gas prices will be passed down to average consumers. And once again, higher prices may mean already over-leveraged consumers decide they can go without certain goods and services. As demand drops, and inventories rise, business are forced to take drastic measures, including cuts in workforce and debt dissolution solutions. So, begins a vicious cycle of a Recessionary-scale, all based on conflicts thousands of miles away.
“Events halfway around the world have become local forces, already eroding their bottom lines. The price of oil has become an index of worry,” says HuffPost. “Every penny increase in the cost of a gallon of gas tears more than a billion dollars from the economy each year, experts say. It takes those dollars out of the hands of people who might spend them in their communities -- at restaurants and craft shops, or on the services of the local carpenter -- and sends them instead to large oil companies. Given that consumer spending makes up roughly two-thirds of economic activity, that's a considerable concern: Recent surveys have shown marked improvement in so-called consumer confidence, but as the numbers increase at the gas pump, so does worry about the future…”.
Are you a small business owner or farmer facing a “crude” awakening with every new uprising in the Middle East? Or are you simply an average American, drowning in debt and unable to face one more burden at the pump? Bankruptcy can provide a solution for all—in Chapter 11, 12 and 7 respectively—allowing everyone from local bar owners to overleveraged borrower the ability to restructure their current debts in order to better manage for unexpected expenses in the future.
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