Snow throws wet blanket on East Lansing businesses

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Snow-covered sidewalk with not a person around.

Melanie Soverinsky

Michigan Avenues businesses stayed open, but the snow hurt most of them.

Grand River Avenue was quiet and piled with snow at 4 p.m. Wednesday.

Power outages occurred near Grand River Avenue on Tuesday afternoon leading into the night when snow arrived.

Despite this, most East Lansing businesses were open Wednesday and doing their best with the heavy snow. 

Local clothing store Campus Corner experienced a decrease in business for the day.

“Business has been much slower than usual today,” said Campus Corner employee Cade Klapish. “We haven’t seen too many customers come into the store.”

While food delivery services are often a popular choice, today they were in especially high demand. East Lansing residents have turned to food delivery apps such as DoorDash, Grubhub and Uber Eats to get their favorite meals. 

Campbell’s Market Basket, a staple in Downtown East Lansing, noticed a spike in orders through these delivery services today. 

“It’s actually busier than I thought it would be today,” partial store owner Perry Kaguni said. “Volume is definitely down because there aren’t as many people in the store, but we’re getting some delivery orders through DoorDash, Uber Eats and stuff like that.”

Many businesses have mentioned the increase in delivery demand as the day progressed. 

Store workers noted it was a challenge to get to work. For some individuals coming from surrounding cities, the commute was much longer than usual. 

“Getting to work for me is a little different than everyone else. I live in Jackson so I usually drive about 45 minutes to work but today it took 80 minutes,” said Foster Coffee Company Assistant Manager Austen Howard . “I took the freeway the entire way and went 40 mph the entire time.” 

Those who reside in the area had an easier time traveling to work. They spent more time shoveling and preparing the store for the day. 

“It’s just me and one other girl here today. She lives pretty close and was able to walk to work today whereas it took a bit longer for me,” said Poké Fresh Assistant Manager Molly Robinson.

It’s clear the snow storm is worsening when Amazon postpones all their operations for the remainder of the day today and all day tomorrow. This may affect local businesses who are expecting orders.

Businesses are preparing for the upcoming workday and evaluating whether they will remain open.

“It’s possible we’ll be closed tomorrow but probably not. It would have to be really bad for us to close this store,” Kaguni said. “If we don’t get our grocery and produce deliveries tomorrow then we’ll have to staff around that on Friday.”

Quark! owner Renee Leone said, “The snow of course prevents people’s ability to get around safely both on foot as well as by car. While the snow is beautiful, it has caused business to be very slow.”

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