Gas prices hurt vendors at Cordele's farmers market - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Gas prices hurt vendors at Cordele's farmers market

March 16, 2008

Cordele -- Harold Melvin has a produce stand at the farmers market in Cordele. And so far he doesn't like what he sees for his business. "People are complaining about mainly prices and how different they are this year from last year," said Melvin.

"And it looks like everyone is just standing back and not spending any money. Keeping it for harder times, I guess, that we might be seeing in the future."

And his customers complaints are right. The rate of his price increase is up by double digits. "I would say in the neighborhood of 30 to 40 percent so far because of the economy and fuel prices naturally.

We are at least at about half of the business that we would normally have this time of year."

Even so they are still a bargain. Prices there a lot cheaper than the ones in grocery stores. But because fuel is so high, people can't afford to come out and take advantage of those prices.

"We don't have the people out riding around and buying a pound or two. We get a lot of whole sale business and its way, way off," said Melvin.

And though business at the farmers market just isn't what it used to be, Harold still hopes for the best. 

"I'm optimistic. It is an election year. Maybe things will change because they can't stay this way. So something has got to happen." Or he may have to find another way to make ends meet.

Analysts say gas and diesel prices will eventually fall, but only after high prices have pushed the economy into a severe slowdown.

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