This story was originally published May 15, 2011. It has been updated to include the latest news on oil. NEW YORK ( MainStreet) -- After a brief interlude of gas prices falling to less mind-boggling heights (but still over $3 a gallon), prices across the U.S. are surging once again. This past weekend threat by Iran to cut off many of its biggest European customers has returned oil to the world's top economic concerns.
As gas prices rise again, a few small businesses win by offering ways to ease the burden.
It can mean only one thing: rising prices at U.S. pumps once again, with some parts of the country surpassing $4 a gallon gas in the next few weeks and moving even higher this summer. The gas price pain hurt almost everyone. Cynthia Magnuson, spokeswoman for the National Federation of Independent Business, says energy costs are having a negative impact on members across the board. "Even those that might run businesses that try to minimize use of gasoline are really not immune to the rising prices," she says. "A bike shop owner needs his or her products delivered via a gas-guzzling vehicle." Rising fuel prices hit small businesses particularly hard because they tend to absorb increases rather than pass them on to customers as larger companies do, the NFIB says. That said, we found five small companies where sales are up as a result of high gas prices: