Extreme winter pounded North Country businesses

Press Start Agence/via Flickr
April 1, 2014

Sure the winter here in the Southern Tier has been rough. But be glad this isn’t the North Country. The relentless snow that pounded that part of the state kept many people home. That meant a hit for some businesses in the region.

Lori Wells co-owns Café Mira, a restaurant in Adams, south of Watertown. The eatery employs about a dozen people and is only open four days a week.

So when Wells and her partner Lisa Reed made the call to stay closed three times this winter, that was a hit to their business. Wells says they hadn’t had to close at all in the four years they’ve been owners.

"It was hard, yeah, very... the last time we did it I was like, ‘not again, really?’ But it happens I guess in the North Country," says Wells.

On nights they were open, deliveries would sometimes be late because of poor driving conditions. She says energy costs have also dealt a blow. Their bill was nearly $500 more a month because of the frigid temperatures.

"I will say this has been the roughest year since we’ve had the business," says Wells.

Winter is Café Mira’s busy season, Wells says, with holiday parties and no seasonal summer competition.

The local Chamber of Commerce says people being snowed in all winter has had a trickle-down effect on several business sectors across the region.