Weather hurts small businesses in Michigan - ABC 12 – WJRT – Flint, MI

Weather hurts small businesses in Michigan

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(02/27/14) - Spring can't come soon enough for many of us, including small business owners.

This winter is taking a toll on many of their bottom lines.

Our cold, snowy weather may be good for snow plow businesses and heating and cooling contractors, but some business owners said if it wasn't for the help of other people, they would have had to close their doors this winter.

"I thank God for the support that I have. Without the support, I may end up losing the business," said Jennifer Avitts, owner of Beyond the Basics Dog Care in Burton.

Avitts is used to three to four walk through's a week, but dangerously low temps means she's barely keeping her doors open.

"We've done two walk through's in the last two to two in half months. We used to adopt out two to three dogs a month. We have adopted zero dogs in the last three months," she said.

A study conducted on behalf of a small business majority advocacy group found that four in 10 small businesses in Michigan say they have been personally impacted by the extremely cold weather.

That's not making it any easier on Avitts, who just opened her doors last January.

"It can be very frustrating, especially being a new business and seeing the rise we had in the better months with these horrible months," she said.

Ninety-two percent of those businesses said they experienced a significant financial impact due to the brutal temps.

"It's actually hurting their bottomline. Damaging their business through closures. Loss of income, job losses," said Rhett Buttle, VP of external affairs, Small Business Majority.

"I worry a little. I know I'm OK, I have a lot of regulars that really pull through for me but, we're no where near our full limit," Avitts said.

She did receive help paying her bills for January and February, but she's not sure how much longer she can depend on other people to help her make ends meet.

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