Up and down the East Coast, and in other parts of the country as well, the cold weather and numerous snow storms seen over the past few months has put a damper on all kinds of issues, and not the least of these are small businesses. Many such companies have been hit hard by the difficult conditions simply because many consumers aren’t likely to venture too far from their homes for days at a time.
The sheer volume of snow and other adverse weather conditions – such as sub-freezing temperatures – that’s hit the U.S. since the start of the new year is enough to have many small business owners worried about their bottom lines for the entire year at this point, according to a report from New York Newsday. When people are stuck in their homes, the kind of spending that helps keep smaller companies afloat more or less drops off the map, while bigger companies with more locations in other parts of the country may be able to weather the storm.
“Traditionally one weekend doesn’t kill a business,” Marshal Cohen, chief industry analyst at the NPD Group, a Port Washington, N.Y.-based market research company, told the newspaper. “But when you have it weekend after weekend, you can’t recover.”
Another way in which this hurts small businesses is that they often have to pay their employees for coming in to work, even when there’s no actual work to do, the report said. When comparing the first several weeks of 2014 to those seen last year, some owners suggest that sales are down as much as 35 or 40 percent, just because of the harsh weather.
Adding insult to injury
Moreover, companies that tend to rely on big sales numbers during the holiday shopping season have been hit even harder, the report said. Many pointed out that the fact Thanksgiving and Hanukkah came so early this year had already hurt their usual end-of-year sales numbers, so these latest difficulties are coming at a particularly difficult time.
Owners worried about the impact that these conditions may have on their bottom lines might want to consider the ways in which reducing expenses – such as those for small business insurance – can help them to better secure their finances overall. Reducing costs for commercial insurance, for instance, could help cut company costs by as much as a few thousand dollars per year.