Hendricks County Flyer, Avon, IN

Westside

March 4, 2014

Harsh winter puts damper on economy

It’s been no secret that this winter has been especially harsh, both on individuals and the business community.

January proved to be especially hurtful across the state.

Per information from state budget officials, Indiana’s revenue in January totaled $1.33 billion, which is $38.3 million below the expected number. As a comparison, that’s $93 million less than the state took in this time last year.

Indiana’s two largest revenue sources, sales taxes and personal income taxes, both failed to reach the January numbers that were forecasted.

Sales tax revenue came in at $645.6 million, making it $15.5 million less than expected. Income tax revenue missed its mark by $13.2 million, coming in at $591.3 million.

Revenue numbers have yet to come in for February, but will likely be similar to January’s.

Speedway businesses have experienced firsthand the drop in the economy.

Speedway Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Connie Harris said restaurant owners have told her this winter has been especially tough.

“I know it has really affected restaurants,” she said. “Several of them have just apparently closed down a couple days. I know I talked to Chris Hill at Dawson’s (on Main) and he said their January was the slowest one since the year they opened because of the weather. I think as soon as it warms up, like any warm days that we’ve had, the restaurants have been packed. People are just dying to get out.”

Harris added that the timing of some of the snow storms have made the winter even worse on businesses — especially restaurants.

“I think sometimes the way the snow has fallen, it’s been on a lot times for restaurants (their best business days),” she said. “It got really bad on Valentine’s Day, that’s one of their biggest days. Or a storm will hit on a Friday, one of their bigger days.”

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