Indy businesses hurting due to brutal winter

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BROAD RIPPLE – With all the intense cold, most of us just want to bundle up and stay indoors. That’s a good strategy to keep you warm, but it’s also bad for business in some stores across central Indiana.

Intriguing and inviting, window displays are supposed to lure you in. Problem is old man winter’s keeping those window shoppers stowed away.

“It’s been very quiet,” said Jeanne Kaplan, manager of Artifacts in Broad Ripple.

Kaplan said business normally slumps every January, but this is a year to remember.

“People aren’t walking about, getting coffee, and shopping,” she said, “The traffic that we’ve been getting has just been customers that need something.”

Kaplan knows the frigid temperatures keep pedestrians from walking the streets. Bike racks are empty, but who’s surprised?

Kaplan said like clockwork she sees winter tourists in her store. But this year, there hasn’t been one.

“We usually get a lot of out-of-town traffic, people visiting, and they take a trip up to Broad Ripple. But nobody’s doing that now,” she said.

Derek Garibaldi manages Canal Bistro.

“I have noticed the last couple of days the area’s been a little quiet outside, rather calm,” he said.

He said any Broad Ripple business takes a hit in nasty weather. But his restaurant’s fared well in the past few days.

“When we had that bit of a heatwave, in the mid-3os and upper-20s, we actually were on a waitlist. I had every table filled in the restaurant. People were just dying to get out of their homes,” said Garibaldi.

Kaplan isn’t pressing the panic button yet, but she’s hoping the cold breaks soon, to give her business a break.

“Nobody’s walked by the whole time,” she said.

FOX 59 talked with the organizer of Devour Downtown. She said restaurants in that program have had good participation, despite the nasty weather.

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