Snowfall a windfall for some businesses
All the snowstorms this winter are keeping many people inside and away from stores and restaurants, but some businesses are benefiting from the bad weather.
Business is booming, for instance, at Ocean Bay Autobody Shop in Point Pleasant.
"We're seeing everything from minor fender-benders, bumpers coming off the car, rear impacts because of traveling too close, as well as major collisions, people sliding off the road hitting telephone poles, trees," said manager Jerry Santangelo. "We do police towing, so if there's any major accident in town, we will get the call."
Landscapers who equipped their trucks with plows also are getting a boost at a time when their vehicles normally sit idle.
Rutgers economist James Hughes said he doesn't expect the overall economy to suffer because of the storms. When the weather improves, he predicted, people will resume shopping.
In the meantime, Hughes said, the storms are pushing up costs for overtime and supplies in the public sector. And the snowy buildup of ice and snow will leave a lot of work as it melts.
"There's going to be significant repavement, patching, and the like that are probably going stress everybody's budget whether it's municipal, county, or state," he said. "So that will have to be made up probably in the next fiscal year."