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Taking clients out to lunch, delivering goods and performing service duties are what drive entrepreneurs to success. Microbusiness owners and the self-employed depend on transportation to provide their products and services. However, escalating energy costs are making it more difficult to survive and profit as a microbusiness owner.

An online poll from the National Association for the Self-Employed (NASE) asked members how rising gas prices are affecting their business. Over 70 percent of microbusiness owners agreed that rising gasoline prices are significantly or moderately hurting their businesses. Nearly half (43 percent) of respondents increased prices to compensate for the growing costs of fuel.

"Microbusiness owners often depend on their cars to connect with their consumers or use shipping services to mail products," says NASE president Robert Hughes. "Most people did not account for such increases in their travel or shipping budgets for the year."

This year, the self-employed will need to revise their budgets to accommodate increasing energy costs. In the meantime, several options to stabilize energy costs are supported by the association members who opted into the survey. Tax subsidies for energy companies to develop new energy-efficient technologies, as well as tax credits to drivers who buy cars with fuel-efficient technology, were supported by two-thirds of respondents. Additional drilling in possibly oil-rich areas within and offshore of the U.S. appealed to 67 percent of members who responded to the poll.

The National Association for the Self-Employed is the nation's leading resource for the self-employed and microbusinesses, and brings a broad range of benefits to help entrepreneurs succeed and to drive the continued growth of this vital segment of the American economy.

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