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Businesses hurt by winter weather fear next storm will ruin Valentine's Day

By Ryan Hughes, Reporter, RHughes@wfmz.com
Published On: Feb 11 2014 04:34:40 PM CST
Updated On: Feb 11 2014 05:55:53 PM CST

Many businesses are bearing the brunt of a brutal winter, and their bottom line is being buried by the snow.

Many businesses are bearing the brunt of a brutal winter, and their bottom line is being buried by the snow.

Many stores and restaurants have been hit hard financially, and now they're concerned another round of snow will ruin Valentine's Day, which is one of their busiest nights of the year.

The oil was burning hot inside Aladdin Mediterranean Restaurant in West Reading, and the owner was ready to prepare anything on the menu, but Mother Nature has kept most of his business out in the cold.

"A lot of people are maybe spending their money now on snow blowers and generators and maybe they're cutting down on going out," said Alex Borkhoche, owner of Aladdin.

The restaurant is feeling it in the wallet. Empty tables during the lunch rush Tuesday showed the toll the bitter cold has taken, and one storm after the next has business down about 27 percent.

Down the street, Cafe Harmony has also been battling against Mother Nature's wrath. Business has been slow and the cafe has been forced to close its doors several days this winter.

"The snow is also a problem on Penn Avenue because there's not great parking opportunities," said Katie Darlington, a manager at the cafe.

With the bitter cold, businesses said people don't want to get out of their cars and walk down Penn Avenue. For Baldwin Brass, the number of people it sees is down about 30 percent.

"We are seeing less traffic in the store, but having said that, we do have a big presence on the avenue but we also have a presence on the Internet," said Nancy Campbell, owner of Baldwin Brass.

Internet sales are helping keep the store afloat, but with another storm knocking at our door restaurants are fearing the snow will scare cupid away.

"Hopefully it's not going to kill our business because this is Valentine's weekend. With the specials and everything hopefully the storm does not go til Friday," said Borkhoche.