Essential Pittsburgh
3:49 pm
Tue February 18, 2014

The Good & The Bad for Businesses in the Winter

Credit Marcus Eubanks / flickr

With the abundance of cold weather, there has been no shortage of news stories about the climate, energy issues and snow-related complications.

But in addition to an increase in coverage by media outlets, many businesses that sell winter items and services are seeing a big boom in revenue. While others may see a decrease in earnings as a result of the unsettling weather.

Business contributor Rebecca Harris divides the good from the bad and shares the implications of a long winter.

When snow is good for business:
-Summer landscapers turn into winter snow plowers
- Cross country ski business
-Plastic toboggans
-Hot chocolate makers
-Online retail
-Chiropractors (Are you lifting from your knees when you shovel your snow?)
-Grocery stores
-Road salt: PA has used 24% more salt this winter than last
-Windshield wiper fluid or "blue juice"
-Plumbers

When snow is bad for business:
-Realtors & home sales
-$5 billion shortfall in loss production and damages to businesses that have had to delay or close
-Airlines & airports
-Hourly workers: less hours when work closes
-Construction firms
-Parents when schools close: children must stay home, and who can watch them? But some cities are adopting policies that say employees can use paid sick days to stay home with children during "snow days."