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Brutal Winter Impacts Local Businesses

CEDAR RAPIDS, IA (CBS 2/FOX 28) -- Welcome to the Polar Vortex, otherwise known as

The winter that makes me hate winter, said shopper Jenn Errickson. This one makes me angry.

It's a place where the economy is lagging. Just ask Dave Wright Auto - or anyone in car sales for that matter.

In their lot the icicles are building up, but the sales aren't.

Snow and wind-chill factors, then snow, then iceit's definitely slowed the average consumer down from coming to the showroom, owner Dave Wright said.

The story is the same for Skogman realty.

I've had a lot of boring Saturday's and Sundays at my open houses, said realtor Brian Hoel.

Area-wide, people aren't searching for homes. Instead, they're staying in them.

They like to cuddle up, so we're seeing a dip in the market this year, Hoel says.

Even at Hy-vee, a place where you think sales would be consistent, sales have been anything but.

So many different cold scares and snow scares that we see a lot of spikes and lows in sales, says manager KC Lyons.

Errickson is among the stay home crowd.

I only go to the grocery store once a week now, she says.

But she does make one trip - to the movie rental store. Monday, she was renting Cassandra's Dream and The Nanny Diaries.

You want to stay inside, you want to make hot chocolate, you want to snuggle up, she says.

Places that provide indoor entertainment - like Family Video - are benefiting most from the deep freeze. No vortex here.

Business has been much better this year, said store manager Sarah Dukes. When the news says don't leave your house, everyone comes to family video.

With spring being only 36 days away, all the businesses we spoke to say they expect things to start to rebound, as people release that pent up demand.
 
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