The impact of winter storms on local businesses.

Severe weather hero image of a winter storm

The impact of winter storms on local businesses.

Severe weather hero image of a winter storm

  • How many businesses permanently shut down due to winter storms:
    • We identified the number of businesses that stopped transacting entirely during the winter storm, and didn’t transact again within 90 days after (this wouldn’t capture any business that would have re-opened after 90 days.)
  • How much was revenue impacted during the winter storms in our analysis:
    • We identified typical seasonal revenue trends nationwide in each industry and each state, and compared the revenue at businesses in our analysis to see if (and by how much) revenue fell above or below the expected seasonal range in the days immediately prior and following the winter storms we analyzed.

We analyzed major winter storms in each of the following states: New Hampshire, New York, and Vermont.

Comparing the impact of winter storms on certain types of local businesses.


Winter storms can be extremely disruptive events, trapping people in their homes for days, even long after the storm has subsided.

While major winter storms don’t typically bring the kind of catastrophic structural damage to businesses as some of the other weather events in our study, that doesn’t mean they don’t result in major financial losses for local businesses.

We’ll start with a combined view of all the winter storms in our analysis first, then we’ll show how winter storms in each of the states we analyzed differed to see whether some winter storms were far more damaging to local businesses than others.

How many businesses permanently closed due to winter storms?


You can imagine that during the height of a major winter storm, many small businesses are forced to temporarily close their doors. Not all businesses are able to re-open after the storm has subsided, however.

In order to determine how many businesses were permanently closed due to the winter storms in our analysis, we identified business that stopped transacting and then didn’t process another transaction within 90 days after the event.

Our analysis found that overall, about 5% of local businesses permanently shut down during or shortly after a major winter storm.

Food and beverage shops were the most heavily affected, with about 8% permanently closing. Restaurants were the second most impacted type of business, with nearly 7% closing.

How much was average revenue at local businesses impacted during winter storms in different states?


As we saw in the section above, winter storms can cause enough financial or physical damage to outright kill a local business. In this section, we’ll examine those businesses that were able to remain open and transacting and see how revenue was impacted during each of the winter storms in our analysis.

Our analysis identified when, after the beginning of an individual winter storm, average revenue at open businesses deviated from what was otherwise expected.

The table below shows how much revenue was impacted (negatively or positively) on average throughout the affected period.

An important note: these figures represent average revenue at businesses that were able to remain open and transacting.

Impact on revenue
Length of impact

Change in revenue during and immediately after the weather event vs. typical seasonal averages

Number of days revenue was above or below seasonal expectations during and after the weather event

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More details by industry type


Select an industry in the table below to see more details on the impact of different winter storms on that industry:

Details by industry type
Arts And Entertainment
Auto Services
Bars And Lounges
Food And Beverage Shops
Health And Beauty
Local Services
Lodging Places
Pet Services
Quick Serve Food And Beverage
Restaurants
Retail And Wholesale
Sports And Recreation Places
Details by state
NH
NY
VT

Timeline: how long did it take for local business revenue to return to normal after each winter storm?


Now, let’s take a closer look at how much revenue was impacted during each winter storm in our analysis, and how long it took for revenue to get back to “normal.”

Select an industry

Arts And Entertainment
Auto Services
Bars And Lounges
Food And Beverage Shops
Health And Beauty
Local Services
Lodging Places
Pet Services
Quick Serve Food And Beverage
Restaurants
Retail And Wholesale
Sports And Recreation Places

Select a state

NH
NY
VT

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