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Columbus Businesses Respond To Power Outages.
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It is not just local families who have a lot of clean up and recovery ahead of them after Sunday’s wind storm. Local businesses are hurting after power outages forced them to close their doors. But as WOSU’s Amy Juravich reports, some stores are working through this difficult time.
The power outages were sporadic late Monday afternoon on North High Street. One business had power while its neighbors on either side were in the dark.
“It’s hurting really bad because we don’t see as many customers as normally.”
Parul Patel works at Andy’s Carry Out just north of Ohio State’s campus. Her store was open but had no power. She says she writes down each transaction and calculates the tax on paper. She says she’s had a hand full of customers all day.
“It’s slow, it’s very slow but it’s better than nothing, you know. So that’s why we keep it open, to see at least some customers in here.” Patel Says.
Handy Bikes, a small bicycle shop a couple blocks away, doesn’t have power either but Gary Stivers is glad he stayed open.
“Well actually I was going home at about 11am or so but people came in and I’ve sold 4 bikes. ‘You sold 4 bikes while your power is out?’ While my power is out and plus I fixed 2 or 3 flats. I’ve got a hand pump there – it works.”
Stivers says he can’t waste a business day because this is the end of his peak season and it’s difficult to sell bikes in the winter.
Dozens of restaurants along North High Street are closed with signs on their doors reading “Power Out, we’ll be back when it’s on.”
But one lucky pizza shop, Minute Man Pizza, never lost its electricity and owner Robert Saveski says he hit record sales on Sunday, selling quadruple the number of pizzas.
“We had myself and my wife were called in and we called our family in, so we had quite a bit of people inside.” Says Saveski.
With a lot of hungry people in Columbus unable to go to some restaurants and running out of options for what to cook at home Saveski called in every employee to work on Monday in anticipation of a very busy week.
But the true economic impact of Sundays wind storm won’t be known for a few days. The amount of profits lost or gained depends on how long the lights are out.
The ACE Hardware Store in Clintonville has power and business is booming. General Manager Dave Wall says he came into work early on Monday in anticipation of the rush.
“Extremely busy all day, people coming in for flashlights, batteries, chainsaws, generators… We sold out of a lot of the most popular batteries, all of our generators that we rent are all rented out. When they heard that it’s going to be a long time, they took the weekly rate instead of the day rate.” Says Wall.
One thing that is slowing down Wall’s business is a lack of internet use. His cashiers have to type in credit card numbers and call companies for authorization. But Wall says spending 3 or 4 extra minutes on each transaction is manageable as long as the lights stay on. For WOSU News, I’m Amy Juravich.