Lackluster winter keeps some out of work

Thoughts of snow often bring distress, but for many that spells stress. Michiana saw it's second snow fall of the season Wednesday, and while many were complaining, others were thankful they had a job.

"That's our livelihood. That's what keeps our employees working, what takes care of their families and ours," says Chris Gabriel at MAAC snow removal in Niles.

Area businesses like snow removal and hardware sales say the winter season is part of their operation.

"I really do rely on seasonal weather and seasonal sales," says Bryce Hill, the general manager at Hill True Vaule.

"It's always nice to sell seasonal items. You want to sell soil and fertilizer in the spring and summer. Fall, that will start to tail off into things like leaf rakes, and in the winter we like to sell our shovels and ice melter."

"You want to sell soil and fertilizer in the spring and summer, fall that will start to tail off into things like leaf rakes, and in the winter we like to sell our shovels and ice melter"

But while some product is starting to move after the big snow, the season's total lack of snow affects business big time.

"Normally by this time we're out several times, and [we] have only been out twice this year, which impacts our employees quite a bit."

Gabriel says for now, they can't keep employees on staff.

"Most of them are laid off right now, we do all landscape management during the summer, we keep them busy all summer, and we hope for snow by the end of November, beginning of December. [For now, they're] all laid off waiting for the phone to ring."

Wednesday's snow fall brought a hint of what could be for the snow industry.

"We get excited. You get excited when the snow falls. It's almost like being a little kid. You look outside it's snowing, you get to go to work," says Gabriel.

But for those already anxious for the next snow, Jim Berneth, owner of Chandler's Sales and Service says, it's important to remember, it's just December.

"It always snows in january, this is only December, it's only been a week of wintertime actually, so we still have a long way to go," says Berneth.


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