The “Polar Vortex” is wreaking havoc on small-businesses. The Wall Street Journal reports that a third of SMBs in areas impacted by this year’s extended cold spell expect lower first quarter sales. Particularly hard hit are businesses selling non-emergency products and services. If it isn’t essential, why go out in the cold?
A carpet store owner featured in the article puts it this way, ”If an appliance breaks or a TV breaks, people want to replace it right away. If flooring needs to be replaced, they can wait a little bit.” She expects her business to be off by 10 percent because of the weather.
Every challenge presents an opportunity. The stronger players in a category can use tough times like this to consolidate their leadership positions, while weaker players may fail to survive the deep freeze. Local media partners shouldn’t watch this unfold from the sidelines. How can you help snowed-in SMBs survive this winter? How will you help consumers engage with SMBs with the floods that are likely to come this Spring? Making sure SMBs have their digital presence optimized for the mobile world would be a good start.