The last thing that Portland's small businesses needed was another natural disaster. But this weekend’s snowstorm-turned-ice storm has wreaked havoc on an already hard-hit sector.
Many businesses have pivoted to outdoor tents. For instance, Northwest boutique Betsy & Iya moves nearly all its inventory outdoors into a fully heated tent, putting items on display for shoppers to browse. On Sunday, the weight of the snow and ice collapsed the tent and heaters into a heap.
Meanwhile, beloved amusement park The Enchanted Forest, finally on the verge of reopening after a successful fundraising and auctioning campaign, was hit hard.
“The Enchanted Forest was on track to reopen March 19, thanks in great part to all of you. In one day of freezing and an inch or more of ice built up on trees on Friday February 12, more damage has been done to the park than I can ever remember. We are still without power,” wrote Susan Vaslev co-manager on the park's GoFundMe page. “The kiddy train was totally smashed. Big trees are down all over the park. The outdoor theatre seating structure was severely damaged and will need to be rebuilt. Damage to many roofs etc. and the cleanup will be massive.”
Even for businesses operating strictly indoors, the weather took its toll. Valentine’s Day weekend, typically one of the biggest money makers for florists, saw florists unable to obtain flowers from their farmers, let alone deliver them into the world. Solabee Flowers posted on Instagram Saturday, “There is no way for us accommodate pickups (our front door is literally frozen shut) or deliveries today due to severe ice and snow.”
Today, as nearly 350,000 Oregonians are still without power and treacherous conditions leave people homebound, our small businesses are in for yet another day of impacted sales.