Small Business Owners Deal with Snow

By Mike Schneider
Senior Correspondent

That’s the sound of yet another snowy Monday in North Jersey. Merchants who would rather be selling, were shoveling instead.

“There is no business. It’s really dead but you can’t really blame the people because I wouldn’t be here if I didn’t have to come in and legally shovel my snow,” said Eat Your Spinach Owner Anna Anagnos.

She’s not alone in that feeling. Many of her fellow merchants kept their doors closed today. The normally buzzing streets of Ridgewood were virtually empty, except for the plows that were removing the snow that had scared business away.

But some of these merchants actually have a high-tech backup plan that Mother Nature can’t touch.

“We have a lot of online sales, we’ve been here kind of shipping those out today,” said Shopettes Co-Owner Tanya Bas.

Bas said weather doesn’t interfere with business: “No, because we have an online shop also.”

But you don’t have to go far to find some people who don’t only tolerate this cold and snow, they embrace it.

All you have to do is take a short ride to the extreme north of Bergen County, where on top of Campgaw Mountain resides one of New Jersey’s few skiing areas.

“Well we got off to a little bit of a slow start. The month of December was very warm. We weren’t able to make snow but right after Christmas, it came in like crazy. We’ve had snow and cold weather ever since,” said Campgaw Mountain Ski Area Manager Ronald Fuhr.

The lifts started running at noon and a parade of skiers and riders were there to celebrate six inches of new snow — the very same weather that many others dread.

But snow days cost money. The storm triggered another round of delays in our mass transit. It also caused scattered power outages around the Garden State and plunging temperatures combined with freezing rain made the roads even more treacherous.

The good news: tomorrow should be sunny but if the forecasters are right, we’ve got two more snow storms heading our way. Which some people are actually prepared to deal with.

“We try to stay as productive as possible and kind of stay open just in case because you know last week we were expecting that snow storm and it really didn’t snow that much. So a lot of schools were closed for the day and it’s just easier to get into town and shop like it’s a Saturday on a Monday,” said Shopettes Co-owner Marilyn Temiz. “But today we got the storm they promised last week.”

“I don’t worry about my business at all. Like slow, busy, it all averages out at the end,” said Anagnos.

On having a positive attitude, Anagnos said, “Definitely, that’s the only way to stay in business. You can’t really worry about it.”