Winter woes for small business owners - WSLS 10 NBC in Roanoke/Lynchburg Va

Winter woes for small business owners

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This harsh winter with record low temperatures and snowfall across the area has kept many off the roads and out of their usual winter spending habits.

David Younger is a manager at Trapezi furniture in Roanoke County. A family-run small business that specializes in dining room accessories. While Trapezi normally sees a decline in sales during the winter months --this year has been especially slow.

"Being a specialty store, certainly people don't have to come out immediately to go table and barstool shopping,” Younger said. “So anytime there is inclement weather coming or its going to be cold and snowy, people just generally want to stay home and take care of the necessities only."

Younger says some days they've actually lost money just by being open. Each time it has snowed, they've had to pay to have this parking lot plowed, yet they've gotten no customers.

The Youngers aren't alone. Small Business Majority reports that 4 out of 10 small business owners across the state have suffered a five thousand to twenty five thousand dollar loss in revenue.

WSLS checked the sales tax revenue for Roanoke County and for the month of December alone they've seen a twenty four percent decrease in revenue compared to last year.

Leaders say January numbers are expected to be low as well because of the cold weather.

Many localities across our viewing area report a decrease. Giles County sales tax revenue went down during the month of December by 13.6%. January is down by 7%.

Business owners like the Youngers can't control the weather but say they're doing what they can to keep out of the red.

"We have to try to play catch up and see if we can find creative ways to advertise or ways to make people come shopping now rather than continue to put it off until after the winters over," Younger said.

 So for now -they're offering special discounts and praying it doesn't snow again.

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