Winter blues: Extreme weather hurts local businesses

Snow, cold keep shoppers home

INDIANAPOLIS - The extreme winter weather has taken a toll on businesses across the Hoosier state.

Look no further than Main Street, or Mass Avenue, to see how the long, cold winter has hurt small and even big businesses.

Mass Ave Toys is one of many mom-and-pop retailers on the street that appeared empty Wednesday after another winter storm.

"The winter has been tough, however, we've enjoyed busy times during the weekend. People still buy toys. The rule for retail is three days. First day, people are shocked by the storm. Second day they adjust. Third day they come out," said store manager Sawyer Knuteson.

Down the street at Three Dog Bakery , employee Sara Little was late to work after her car was stuck in snow. Despite the cold and snow, she said business isn’t too bad.

"I think it's because we're within walking distance from so many residential areas that no one necessarily has to drive here and that helps us," Little said.

It’s not just snowfall after snowfall that has affected businesses. Extreme cold has also played a big part in keeping people indoors and not shopping.

It’s not just small businesses that have the winter blues. Retailers from Amazon to Wal-Mart said the extreme weather is partly responsible for weaker earnings through the holiday season and January.

Airlines reported losing $1.7 billion to last month’s polar vortex.

On the other hand, some businesses like those that make electric blankets, heaters, boots and ice melt saw a big demand for their products.

Colorado ski resorts also had a great season after reporting heavy losses the last two years.

Follow Chris Proffitt on Twitter: @chrisproffitt

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