BALTIMORE (WJZ) — These freezing cold temperatures mean a tough time for businesses across the region.
Meghan McCorkell has more.
February is normally a slow month for businesses, but this cold is really biting into their bottom line.
Empty sidewalks, snow still in the streets. This winter has not been kind to some Baltimore businesses.
“When it’s very, very, very cold, people stay inside,” said Elissa Strati, owner of Avenue Antiques in Hampden.
For her store, that means a lot less foot traffic coming through the doors.
“Normal temperatures this time of year are in the 40s. What is it, 20 out there right now?” Strati said.
At David’s First and Ten Sports Bar, some bar stools are still taken, but winter parking is at a premium.
“The snow has actually taken up entire parking spots,” said bartender Chris Fritz.
The deep freeze is impacting businesses nationwide. Economists say revenues are down 13 percent over last January and February. Target, Home Depot and Lowe’s all report delayed shipments because the snow has slowed operations and caused equipment to malfunction at ports in New Jersey. Some truckers wait for hours.
“I was waiting over there from the morning. I just got one box right now,” said driver Manny Singh.
In Pennsylvania and Illinois, ice jams are causing massive flooding and putting a serious strain on infrastructure.
The winter is also causing a huge economic strain for the state of Maryland. Between fuel, snow removal contractors and 400,000 tons of salt, the state has spent $100 million–more than double the normal winter budget. That money could eventually come out of the taxpayers’ pocket.
Baltimore City has also busted its snow removal budget, spending more than $5 million–nearly double the allotted budget.
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