Winter weather hurts US economy, area businesses

Posted at 6:49 PM, Feb 11, 2014
and last updated 2014-02-11 18:53:05-05

RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR) -- The snow of 2014 is beginning to add up in  more ways than one.

Business analysts estimate that nationwide this winter has cost the economy $10 billion, impacting everything from restaurants to car dealerships.

"The threat of snow scares people off a little bit," John Vanpeppen, owner of Richmond's Arcadia restaurant, said. "Definitely the cold and the snow the last few weeks have slowed us down."

Moore Cadillac salesman Franco Perrone told CBS 6 that one snow day can really mean four or five in the car business.

"People's first reaction is not to go out an buy a new car," Perrone said.

And that is just the beginning. Cold weather means higher electric bills and snow days mean more babysitter fees for parents.

Additionally, experts report that when winter weather conditions worsen, productivity at businesses drops, too, often times with employees leaving early.

The country's hiring rate appears to also have been impacted. While 237,000 jobs and 274,000 jobs were created in October and November, only 75,000 and and 113,000 jobs were created in December and January according to the Department of Labor.