According to a USAToday article, due to rising energy costs and other business expenses, small businesses are being forced to raise prices, a move that will fuel inflation. A recent survey showed that 30 percent of small companies plan to raise prices in the next three months, the National Federation of Independent Business said.

Small businesses chalk up the cost hike to the rising cost of oil. Some have seen manufacturers pass on higher energy-related manufacturing costs, and suppliers have often added fuel surcharges to invoices. Many businesses have also seen a hike in monthly electric charges.

According to the article, "Higher oil prices have pushed gas prices to an average $2.931 a gallon, nearly 32 percent higher than a year ago, says the American Automobile Association. That played a key role in the Federal Reserve's decision last week to raise interest rates for the 17th time."

Raw materials aside, small businesses have seen a jump in labor costs across the board as employees seek the highest pay. Insurance rates have also gone up over the last twelve months, forcing employers to dig deeper in their pockets to provide benefits and remain competitive among other businesses.

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