The blizzards on the East Coast of America last week are still causing havoc to thousands of businesses, according to reports. And, as other storms make their way across the country, there is no sign of much respite for business owners of large and small companies.
Reports suggest that the cost to the economy will end up reaching billions of dollars. It is thought it could even take over the Superstorm of March 1993 regarding damage. Floods, mountains of snow and sheer blocks of ice have all contributed to business interruption and loss.
However, it’s not all bad news, and some industries have seen a lift in their takings. Snow plough businesses are clearly onto a winner, but local grocery stores have also seen a boost in their profits. With people fearful of being trapped in their homes, they have been stocking up on their groceries and spending big whenever they can.
But, for most businesses, it’s a terrible time. And, many can expect the situation to get worse in financial terms, even as the snow melts and things return to normal. States and counties are beginning to fine businesses and homeowners who fail to clear snow from their pathways sidewalks. There is also a significant danger of refreezing. With temperatures well below zero, the chances of accidents at work occurring are greatly increased.
And, again, it’s business owners that will pay the price if they haven’t taken their responsibilities seriously. According to medical referral service company 411 Pain, business owners can expect to fit a large bill. Without the right cover, they will have to pay for their employees recovery. This can include hospitalization, emergency care, rehabilitation, medical bills, extended care, and physical therapy.
It’s companies in the service sector that have suffered the most. Nobody is eating out, heading to the movies, or using their local sports centers, as everyone has stayed safe in their homes. Meat processing companies have been closing down, too. Reuters state that several factories in central locations are closing, due to dangerous roads. Deliveries are impossible, and it is unsafe for workers to travel to the plants.
But, things have been a little rosier in the auto industry. A report in Bloomberg Business states that automakers have enjoyed their strongest US January sales in a decade. Despite the weather, sales leapt to 17.6 million, outstripping every year since the same month in 2006.
For most businesses, though, it’s a case of clearing up and running a tight ship. With the inclement weather continuing and moving across the country, we can all expect more of the same. And, as one side of the country starts its clean up, there is a worry that another incident could cause even more damage. However, it’s important to consider that the storms are responsible for dozens of deaths, and, even more, injuries. So, any business that comes out of it unscathed can think themselves lucky.
Have you been affected by the recent storms? Let us know about it in the comments section below.