Winter Weather Takes Toll on Small Business Revenue

Business owners across the country are experiencing a significant chill from the wicked winter weather, according to data from an online credit marketplace for small business loans.

According to analysis of more than 20,000 businesses from Biz2Credit, revenues are down across the board for the first six weeks of 2014, compared to one year ago. Biz2Credit’s online lending platform connects business borrowers with more than 1,200 lenders nationwide.

“We compared the data with the first six weeks of 2013 … The drop in the top line has been pretty dramatic,” says Biz2Credit co-founder Rohit Arora.

Looking at businesses in the Northeast and Midwest, Arora found retail revenue dropped 13% over 2013, while transportation and warehousing revenue is down 11%. Construction also saw a significant drop of 9%.

While most industries saw a cut in revenue, not all were as deep. For instance, according to the data, health care and social assistance revenue fell only 3.5%.

Though 2014 has been off to a frigid start, Arora says business owners need not lose hope for the entire year.

“The last two quarters were pretty good. If this winter tapers off by the first week of March, they should recover by May or June,” says Arora.

However, if the weather doesn’t pick up soon, he’s not as sure.

“If it continues, we will see some impact … as much as 5% to 7%, if it doesn’t improve by the middle of March. It’s been a very big hit – there’s no doubt,” says Arora.