Nightly News   |  February 13, 2014

Wicked Weather Costs Businesses Big Bucks

Record snowfall and freezing temperatures have affected the bottom line for industries ranging from transportation to retail.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> and if you're among the millions of people who have been in the path of this huge storm or any of the others you may be seeing its big economic impact firsthand. our friends over at cnbc have their own term for it. good evening, katie.

>> reporter: good evening, brian, 12 inches , that is what they have had. the county has run out of salt, in fact they had to mix it with gravel just to spread it for this storm. $750,000 worth of salt for january alone, and that is just a microcosm, on how it is affecting the area. in ridgewood, new jersey, making the trek to work on the eve of valentine's day, one of the biggest business days of the year the little flower shop was open.

>> if you were not able to be open, how much money would the shop lose.

>> thousands of dollars, we have to come in and do it. this is how we make our money.

>> reporter: record snowfall and freezing temperatures have put pressure on businesses north to south. the economic impact, $50 billion and 80,000 jobs. take this map, a year ago today, 40% of the country was covered in snow. right now, it is 60%. cnbc calls it frozenomics.

>> people staying home, not going to the malls, those are lost sales, houses that could have been built, that is all sorts of economic activity that is not getting done because of the snow.

>> reporter: at virginia's outlet mall , snow filled parking lots instead of shoppers, here, vehicles instead of potential drivers where they're reporting a sales drop of $1.7 billion due to last month's winter weather . here, snarled roads and grounded planes, and transportation has taken the biggest hit. weather back-ups at the airport have cost passengers $2.5 billion. the food industry is also hurting where restaurant owners can only keep their fingers crossed.

>> when the weather comes in like this it is probably a good 75% of the business for the day is shot. so we just open up and hopefully we'll pick up something.

>> reporter: in new york city , the school was cancelled mid-day and parents had no choice but to cut losses.

>> i had to leave work early so i lost half a day.

>> reporter: but back in ridgewood, neither snow nor sleet nor hail could keep the florists from delivering. brian, it is not just the flower deliveries that they're worried about, but reservation