Small businesses across the United States were negatively impacted by the extreme low temperatures and record snowfall this winter, according to a new study by On Deck Capital, Inc., a platform for small business loans.
According to the Main Street Pulse Report, a quarterly study of small business trends, 77 percent of businesses surveyed were hurt by the severe winter weather. Businesses negatively impacted the most were in the Northeast, Midwest and Southeast regions, with 68 percent of them in the Northeast alone.
Customer traffic and sales were consistently down. 67 percent of businesses experienced slower than normal customer traffic and nearly half saw a 50 percent decrease in sales.
A majority of small businesses were forced to close their doors for up to five days. Nearly 73 percent were closed for up to five days while 14 percent closed their doors for 10 days or more. Of the businesses that remained open, 89 percent responded that they were "not busy at all."
Industries negatively impacted the most were retailers and restaurants. 25 percent were retailers, while 20 percent were restaurants and bars.
Small business owners are resilient. Nearly 70 percent have managed through these challenges by modifying hours and service, engaging customers online and catching up on administrative work to identify growth opportunities. Furthermore, 71 percent either used or considered taking out financing to help bridge the weather-related gap.
The study is based on data gathered by OnDeck from over 240 small business owners across the United States from a variety of industries.