Area businesses prepare for storm to strike
The Shaw’s chain has also been preparing for the storm and, according to spokesperson Steve Sylven, the company has dedicated team for weather events.
“We have protocols in place to help make sure we’re delivering what we can to our stores leading up to and after the storm,” he said.
Shaw’s is not planning to have extra hours leading up to the storm, but, the company does have some 24-hour stores and many stores, Sylven said are open until 10 or 11 anyway.
Hotels and restaurants
While bad weather brings at least a short-term spike in business for hardware stores and supermarkets, its impact can be devastating for restaurants.
“Because of the day, it will hurt restaurants. I think people will want to stay home rather than go out,” said Massachusetts Restaurant Association Communications Director Christine Johnson.
The hit could even be worse than losing a typical Friday and possibly Saturday night of business as next Thursday is Valentine’s Day and, with the holiday being on a Thursday, some couples celebrate in advance. Robinson thinks that the loss of the pre-holiday to weather will not be a huge hit.
“Thankfully, it’s not actually Valentine’s Day,” she said. “I find that business shifts – especially with Valentine’s Day – people will make it for the next day or the following weekend.”
For hotels, the bad weather will be a mixed bag as many reservations will be canceled, but others will be made as people either get stuck in town or are forced to leave their houses due to power outages.
Paul Sacco, President of the Massachusetts Lodging Association said that most hotels make common sense preparations like going to their catering clients and offering to reschedule events. Sacco also said that in every case he has heard of, hotels are letting people cancel reservations without charging them a penalty.
“While there are cancellations, they are also getting requests for reservations for people who want to stay longer or people who don’t want to be home during the storm,” he said.
Sacco said that the timing of the storm will hurt hotels as if it occurred during the week, many establishments would have blocks of rooms booked by areas businesses. Because the storm’s major impact will be on a Friday into a Saturday that will not be the case.
Hotels in the area, Sacco said, will all be open and most will set aside rooms for staff member so they do not have to travel during bad weather.