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Local businesses coming down winter’s homestretch

AMHERST – When everyone is snowed in, businesses, especially local, are bound to suffer because of it, says the manager of Dayle’s Department Store.

Mark Carter, president of Carter’s Sports Cresting, says delivery, not sales, causes the biggest setbacks for production-based companies like his during the winter months but regardless, he says winter is still a difficult time for many local business owners and spring couldn’t come sooner.

Tamara Porter says winter hasn’t been too generous to her business, as they’ve been forced to close due to weather and road conditions time and time again.

“I’m sure everyone’s in the same boat, but this winter has definitely been the most days that we’ve had to close and cancel,” she said.

Every winter, it’s an expectation for businesses to miss a day here and there, but this year it has reached an extreme.

“Usually, we’re lucky if we only get away with one or two days having to close for the winter,” she said.

“This year, I think it’s been seven or eight.”

With missed days comes an unavoidable financial hit that affects everyone, not just revenue, she said.

 “Not only do sales lose out, but our employees do too because they count on their set hours a week for their income,” said Porter.

“When we have to close, that affects their pays and salaries.”

There’s nothing worse than having to close the store for the day and the decision to close or open up is a tough one to make for business owners, she said.

“It is a tough decision to decide whether to open or close, because some days it’s not as bad as others.”

Needless to say, Porter, like many other business owners, dreads these winter months.

“Obviously, it’s very frustrating,” she said.

Mark Carter is the president of Carter’s Sports Cresting. He says for his line of business especially, losing even a single day can be detrimental to the workload and it’s quite easy to get behind if they stack up.

The sales will always be there but when employees can’t come in on some days, the workload adds up and it can become difficult to stay on pace.

“When you lose a production day due to weather, it’s difficult for scheduling,” he said.

In his business, it’s not like a normal retail store where someone walks in and walks out with the product.

Customers place orders of what they want done, and the process can take days, he said.

“When you have large orders, you have to schedule that and when you lose two or three days in storms, it makes it difficult.”

Another major issue for production-based companies like Carter’s is the delivery process.

The traffic flow and sales will always be there, but delivery seems to be what causes the most setbacks for his company during the winter months, he said.

“I’ve ordered raw materials that didn’t arrive for three days, that usually come the next day.”

The opening months to a new year aren’t meant to be record-breaking months; rather they usually end up being break-even months for some businesses, Carter said.

Regardless, facing winter as a business owner is a daunting task, and with another one soon coming to an end, they couldn’t be more relieved.

For Porter at Dayle’s Department Store, spring will provide a much-needed breath of fresh air, and in more ways than one.

“For our business, a retail, our spring stocks start shipping the first of February so a lot of people that go on trips and go south and go away, they usually come pick up some stuff before they leave,” she said.

“Oh, we can’t wait.”






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