Snow slows business

Published 9:43 pm Friday, March 6, 2015

Several snowstorms in the past few weeks have put a damper on business at local eateries and retail establishments, and the city’s wallet took a hit, too.

“It definitely put a hurtin’ on us,” said Greg White, a sales associate at Uncork’d, a wine shop in downtown Suffolk. “I’m really looking forward to summer now.”

White said the snow days affected the young store’s efforts “to get people in and try to build a reputation.”

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“We even had an event that we had to postpone,” he said. “It was a private wine tasting that was scheduled a month in advance, and sure enough it was the day we got six or eight inches.”

The event has been rescheduled for this coming Thursday.

Jose Moncada, owner of East Coast Taco Company, said the restaurant fared well in spite of the snow.

“When it started to snow Monday night (Feb. 16), we stayed open and we did really good,” he said.

The restaurant stayed closed that Tuesday, which “hurt us a little bit,” and then opened late on Wednesday.

“We did pretty good then too,” he said.

Last week, “it was a little slow, but I would say we did OK for having snow,” he said.

Bruce Bowles of D.B. Bowles Jewelers said his store closed two days during the snow events, and traffic was down on the days it was open.

“It affected us a little bit,” he said. “I haven’t run any numbers, but in my mind there were a few days that were slow.”

The city also took a hit in its budget because it had to spend extra money clearing roadways.

City spokeswoman Diana Klink said the city spent about $653,500 on labor, materials, fuel, equipment, repairs and maintenance for the snow responses that took place Feb. 15-20 and Feb. 24-27.

That included about $207,000 worth of materials for Public Works roadway maintenance — mostly sand and salt that was spread on the roads.

The city consumed nearly 11,600 gallons of fuel, and applied 5,550 tons of abrasives and 28,000 gallons of brine solution, Klink added.

Money for responding to winter weather is built into the yearly budget.