Restaurants are being hurt by the rising cost of food - an 8% increase in eggs, for instance, is "eating away" at restaurants and bakeries, HuffPo says. The rise in cotton is hurting clothing manufacturers and retailers. And of course gasoline and jet fuel is crimping profit at any business that relies on sales calls. But small businesses are loathe to pass the higher costs on to customers. Many are instead choosing to absorb more costs. These days "customers are demanding to pay less, not more. As a result, small businesses are often left with no options," HuffPo says. But that doesn't mean they're running their businesses as normal. Some are adjusting their operations by incorporating more online training and meetings via webinars, instead of flying to see clients, changing menu items to include less expensive meats or fish. Many businesses are holding back on hiring and asking employees to take on more responsibilities, the article says. -- Written by Laurie Kulikowski in New York. To contact Laurie Kulikowski, send an email to: Laurie.Kulikowski@thestreet.com. To follow Laurie Kulikowski on Twitter, go to: http://twitter.com/#!/LKulikowski >To submit a news tip, email: firstname.lastname@example.org.