January Business Reflections
How was business this past January? Down about 30% year over year? Sounds about right based on the once a decade snow event we experienced. Snow is always a disruptor for business and industry, not just with customers, but with employee attendance alike. The rough estimate was that businesses lost 9-11 days of regular business hours during this event.
Unfortunately, to top off that, Downtown Morristown experienced the largest fire ever experienced downtown. We are all excited about the former Belk corner redevelopment, but this isn’t the way any of us envisioned it getting started. Add to that a long wait on the state fire marshal and the likely need for TDOT to repave a portion of Cumberland and I think we are seeing what a worst case scenario for many businesses may look like.
We have heard comments over the years how neat it would be to stop traffic flow through Main Street downtown and make it pedestrian only, and while it is typically Joe Q. Public saying that, I think business owners may tell you differently after seeing what happens when just over 100 ft of road frontage is closed.
We don’t see many retailers boom in January with the Christmas hangover, and losing about 10 days to snow will sure make for a tough start to the year, but we hope the year to come will see continued growth all over town!