Gentle winter hurts some businesses, helps others

Gentle winter hurts some businesses, helps others
SELAH, Wash. -- A mild winter may mean less of a hassle for you, but winter-based businesses feel otherwise.

"Usually we plow snow half a dozen times by now,” said Tom Stokes. “We've only done it twice."

Tom Stokes owns Russell Landscaping, a business that relied on bad weather to fuel profits. There was none of it during the winter. Profits have been cut in half, meaning layoffs to at least five workers.

"This time of year we've had to lay some guys off,” said Tom. “That's pretty normal for us this time of year to lay a couple guys off. But usually I'm able to fulfill hours for snow removal but haven't really been able to this year."

"To make up for the slow season, Russel Landscaping makes up for it by working on equipment and trailers for the busy season in the spring," said Reporter.

That way employees could keep busy and equipment would be fully prepped when it's needed.

On the flip side, a mild winter meant more business for others. Sean Broetje, manager of Save-On-Foods said the lack of snow helped them get their inventory on time which generated more sales.

"Last year we had our parking lot plowed approximately eight, nine times,” said Sean. “This year we've only had it plowed twice."

With money saved on plowing their parking lots, they're able to spend money on giving employees longer hours. Sean said the maintenance of the parking lots during winter was costly.

"That's saved us about two, three hundred dollars so far," said Sean.

Other local business owners KIMA spoke with said there's usually big changes during winter months. With some of the changes more positive than the others.