The weeks leading up to Christmas are the biggest retail shopping time of the year. But this month’s unusually cold weather is keeping people indoors – hurting some businesses in the Eugene-Springfield area. Other businesses, though, are seeing a boost.
As the weather begins to warm, more and more Eugene and Springfield residents are journeying out into the world. But still, traffic on snowy roads and sidewalks is nowhere near normal levels. The weather has had a two-fold effect on the local economy, according to Springfield Chamber of Commerce Director Dan Egan. Businesses are having trouble getting their own employees into work.
Egan: “And then at this time of year when there’s more activity, more retail activity, it’s been kind of tough. I think a lot of people would look at this past weekend as a lost opportunity to connect with their customers.”
Egan doesn’t believe those retail businesses will be able to completely make up sales in the weekends to come. But he says this is golden time for one sector of the economy.
Egan: “Plumbers, tow truck drivers, car collision repair places, Les Schwab, tire places – all of them are extremely busy. And I think over the next week, that’s not going to slow up one bit.”
And that seems to be the case at Petersen Plumbing in Eugene.
Fountain: “We have literally a call a second. The minute we hang up a call, the next call is coming in.”
Tina Fountain is one of three people working full time answering calls for service to Petersen Plumbing.
Fountain: “It’s fantastic. We’re all trying to stay in great spirits. We’re working, like I said, some really late hours. It’s a good thing… unfortunately.”
Unfortunately for the local residents who are suffering from broken pipes.