Small businesses feel impact from mild winter weather

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Rochester, Minn. (KTTC) – While some may be enjoying the mild winter weather, some are experiencing the lack of winter blues.

The no-snow winter is really putting a damper on the season for small business owners.

So far this winter season, Minne-snow-a hasn’t lived up to it’s name.

“Its been quite a few years since we’ve had something like this,” owner of K&K Hauling Kevin Staloch said.

In Rochester, there’s been 6 days without snow on the ground in the month of January. That hasn’t happened since 2013.

“We don’t make any money when the weather is like this,” Staloch continued. “Its tough for everybody.”

“Normally this time of year, its our busy season,” dispatcher at Pulver Motor Service Sam Schafer said.

The lack of snow has been frustrating for snow removal and towing businesses alike.

“Usually do 20, pull outs on cars a day. I would probably say we’ve done about 20 this month,” Schafer said. He guesses business is down 50 to 75 percent from last year.

Same thing with plowing.

“Usually once a week sometimes twice a week depending on the weather,” Staloch said. “I think I’ve been out four times. Real big difference.”

But the weather – or lack there of – also hits home with bars and restaurants.

“Winter is a big business for Minnesotans,” Leo’s Sports Bar owner Fred Liffrig said. “We depend on the snow and that’s what we need to keep it going.”

Being in the hub of three different snow mobile trails, Liffrig guesses the weather has cost him 30 percent of his usual winter revenue.

“It’s tough because, its money you’ll never get back,” Liffrig said.

On a typical weekend he sees 250 – 300 snowmobilers.

“Theres only one chance you’ll have snowmobilers and that’s in the winter and if we don’t have a foot and a half of snow we don’t have them.”

The worst part? You can’t do anything to change the weather.

“You don’t know what you’re going to get,” Staloch said. “You could have a mild winter, you could have a harsh winter you’ve just got to take what mother nature gives us.”

Even so, business owners remain hopeful for a visit from Jack Frost.

“I think winter is just around the corner. I really think so,” Schafer said.

“We’re hoping for a big snowstorm here any time soon,” Liffrig said.

Although southeastern Minnesota has been lacking in the snow department thus far, at this point in 2018, Rochester had just over ten inches; which isn’t too far from this year’s total.

Last winter Rochester ended up with more than 60 inches of snow for the winter.

Beret Leone

Beret Leone

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