Small Business Feeling the Cold This Winter

This winter has been rough and not just for businesses that rely on foot traffic. Sales at online-based companies have also suffered. One such business affected by the extreme winter weather is Fresh Diet, a gourmet delivery service company in the New York City area who offers an online monthly subscription. In January, the ice and snow prevented them from making their deliveries for six days resulting in a $20,000 a day loss. In addition, the company will need to right-size customer orders by adding the six missed days to the end of each subscription, which will cost the company thousands of dollars in cash flow.

Marc Glazer, CEO of Business Financial Services, a national lender, says he’s seen a 60 percent rise in small business loan applications during the past six weeks as compared to last year. He says at least half are from existing customers who had to close down their stores as a result of the brutal winter weather. “It’s been a hard winter, and things like that make a huge difference for small businesses,” said Glazer.

Another company, Car Part Kings, an online seller of car parts, have seen their sales drop 35 percent this winter. Car Part Kings has experienced delivery challenges due to delays with FedEx resulting in the company giving partial refunds to its customers. “It’s crushed our ability to deliver on time,” said Car Part Kings President Mike Dash.

In addition, the vast majority of the company’s sales are to mechanics, who have also been hit hard since people are homebound and not able to get their cars in the shop to be serviced.

Reference:

Lobosco, Katie. “Winter storms slam online sales, too”. Money.cnn.com. 2/14/2014.

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