It won't come as a surprise to Texas small business owners, but rising energy prices are second only to health care costs as the top problem facing small businesses, according to a recent study by the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB). Some form of energy costs were ranked as a "critical" problem by 58% of business owners. According to NFIB's Energy Consumption poll, energy costs are one of the top three business expenses for 35% of small businesses.

NFIB isn't telling business owners anything new by reporting that energy costs have increased rapidly over the last two years and even more so in the last six months. Small business owners are not able to adjust the price of their goods and services quickly enough to match the steep energy price increases without hurting their customer base, NFIB noted.

Business owners are also not able to change business practices fast enough to offset the increases. For example, NFIB reported that most owners cannot afford to buy new, more energy efficient equipment if current equipment still has useful life. "They are effectively caught in a squeeze that only time and/or good fortune will release," NFIB warned.

High electricity rates particularly impact retailers and non-professional service providers, such as auto repair shops, barber/beauty shops, theatres, restaurants, motels, and delis, NFIB found.

Texas small businesses at least have the power to take control over one facet of their energy costs by choosing a low-cost electricity provider . But small businesses, according to the Texas Public Utility Commission (PUC), have not historically shopped for a lower electricity rates in as high as numbers as their larger competitors. Instead, they've stayed with their old "legacy" provider who sold them power before customer choice began. The PUC found that more customers who shopped paid lower electricity rates , while those who stayed with their legacy provider typically were paying the highest rates.

Not only does that mean small business owners are paying more than they should for power by not shopping, it also means they are losing an advantage to their competitors who do go out and scour the market for cheaper electricity .

Of course, large corporate conglomerates have entire staffs devoted to energy management which allows them to devote the time needed to compare energy prices and energy providers . Small business owners, busy ringing cash registers or stocking shelves, find it harder to cull through hundreds of offers from nearly one hundred Texas energy providers .

That's where can help small business owners. provides a one-stop shop for small business owners to receive and compare custom electricity offers from eight energy suppliers , just like the big guys.'s exclusive commercial retail exchange portal allows small business owners to shop for cheap electricity with one-click of the mouse, so they can get back to running their businesses.'s online exchange puts small business owners in charge, and lets them buy electricity on their time and terms. Business owners just enter some information about their electricity bill, location, and any special requests for the type of product they're interested in, and they'll receive up to eight quotes from competing electric companies . And vets their suppliers to ensure they're financially sound providers with good customer service. That gives small businesses piece of mind, and frees them from having to devote time and resources trying to track down whether an electric company is stable and reliable. gives small businesses the power to save money on electricity without having to take time out of keeping their businesses running. That makes them more competitive and puts them on equal footing with the big guys.

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