Snow Hampers Small Businesses in New Haven

Small businesses in New Haven are struggling to recover from back-to-back storms that snowed them out and are bracing for more winter weather on the way.

When Al Gordon has to close Chick-Lets Organic Grille during a snow storm, he loses money.

“As a small business person down here in New Haven, it trickles down. It actually trickles into my employees' pockets. I'm a restaurant, so I have to watch my food costs and the bills keep on coming,” said Gordon.

Claire's Corner Copay sees a similar problem. Owner Claire Crisco still has to pay the the rent, staff and utility bills even when the snow comes in – and the customers don't.

“When you have it snow and it's relentless and it's measurable, it makes it difficult because, let's face it, you tend to stay in,” said Crisco.

On top of that, downtown parking bans keep people off the streets even after the snow stops.

“All of a sudden, the on-street parking is no longer an option for customers, and then you get a rush to the off-street facilities, they'll fill up rather quickly, and then people are out of luck coming downtown, so the customer base dries up,” explained Win Davis, executive director of the Town Green Special Services District in New Haven.

The Town Green District and the city of New Haven have been working together to help out businesses by cleaning up the snow and making the parking spaces more accessible.

Thursday night into Friday morning, parking restrictions will take effect in downtown New Haven to allow crews to remove excess snow on the roadsides.

The downtown shops appreciate the effort, but said there's nothing they can do about the weather.

“The snow's coming fast and furious and with more snow on the way," said Gordon. "I expect more of the same going forward.”

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