Businesses open despite snow may experience decline in business

MARQUETTE — With the snow still falling, many businesses have decided to close their doors. For the ones that stay open, their business will be just like the weather: unpredictable.

It’s mid-April. By now, most people should be worried about making the transition from cold weather to warm(ish) days. Today, however, many business owners are staying home. For the few that do decide to open their doors, they shouldn’t be surprised to see a lack of customers on a day like today.

“When the snow is falling we see a little bit of a dip in what we normally do,” said Brice Sturmer, co-owner of Velodrome Coffee. “But we believe that you have to earn all of the business that you receive, so on days like today when it’s snowy or people are just digging out, we just have to work harder to earn their business.”

“It can go wither one of two ways, either people have cabin fever and they want to get out and do something with their families and come down and paint, or people hunker down,” said Hotplate Owner Melissa Sprouse.

At Velodrome, customers can get a discount on select items. The warm, calming environment gives customers a shelter, if only for a few minutes, from the snowstorm outside.

With Velodrome being open for less than a year, and Hotplate under new ownership, there are still some things to learn.

“This is my first time going through a spring storm, but because we get one every year, it’s nice to know what’s coming,” said Sprouse.

But with business experience and time, by next winter, things should be ironed out.

“As owners, we just committed to being around the shop on days like today so that we can kind of gauge how business is going, and help when needed,” said Sturmer.

“It’s taught me that I need to have a good policy in place so that I can just make the call quickly and easily, rather than kind of hem and haw about it,” said Sprouse.

For now, it’s best to open doors, pretend that the day will be just like all others, and be ready for whatever happens.