Lack of snow affecting local businesses

Missouri

ST. CHARLES, Mo. – Many landscape companies in our region count on snow services to bring in some business during the winter months. This is the slowest start to the winter season we’ve seen in a few years, with just an inch of snow measured at St. Louis Airport so far.

“It’s definitely been a slow winter season. There’ve been a couple salt runs but obviously we haven’t seen any serious precipitation develop or anything like that,” said Brian Schwartz, Schwartz Brothers Landscape Solutions, Inc.

“We’re about 95% below where we were last winter. And last winter was kind of a dry winter really. Right now, we’re hoping that January and February pick up a little bit,” said Brandon Schwartz, owner of the company.

If winter doesn’t pick up, Brandon says they’ll have a lot of salt leftover. They buy all their salt in advance and store it in a barge downtown.

“As the winter goes on your goal is to hope that you use up most of your salt. This winter we’re hoping we use it in February and March,” Brandon said.

Since winter varies so much year-to-year in St. Louis, the Schwartz brothers don’t depend on the revenue.

“You’re always hoping that it comes down. But it’s not appearing to be that way unfortunately,” said Brian. “It’s always a big lucrative part of the business for sure, but you don’t necessarily rely on it completely.”

This winter hasn’t been a total bust. There was the ice over New Year’s.

“Obviously the New Year’s ice created quite a need for salting. I think we had three salt events. And we serviced almost every account that we have,” said Brain. “We definitely generated some business out of it because everything froze.”

But of course, there’s still plenty of time left for snow. February and March can be snowy months and we often even have measurable snows in April.

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