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Lingering snow putting a damper on seasonal business operations in Manitoba

Click to play video: 'Lingering snow putting a damper on seasonal business operations in Manitoba' Lingering snow putting a damper on seasonal business operations in Manitoba
A quick look at photos from this time last year is all it takes to see how different the snow situation in Manitoba is this spring. And as March ends, all the lasting snow is starting to affect seasonal businesses. Abigail Turner reports – Mar 31, 2022

A quick look at photos from this time last year is all it takes to see how different the snow situation in Manitoba is this spring.

As March ends, all the lasting snow is starting to affect seasonal businesses, including Jeff Vermette’s landscaping company.

“Right now we’re really cold and (there’s) tons of snow, so we can’t do anything,” the owner of Lawn ‘N’ Order says. “Last year we didn’t have any snow as of the end of February, so we were already working in the yard here.”

Read more: Winnipeg winter has third-highest snowfall since 1872: meteorologist

Vermette and many seasonal businesses rely on green grass to operate. Last year, they had their first sale on March 5 and were out working on sites by March 15, a much different situation this year.

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“We have a very short season so with all this snow it kind of makes it a little bit stressful in terms of trying to get on to sites and get something done this year,” he says.

Click to play video: 'Winnipeg snow by the numbers' Winnipeg snow by the numbers
Winnipeg snow by the numbers – Jan 26, 2022

It’s a similar situation for those in the food truck industry, including the owner of Walleye Wagon, David Jonasson.

“There’s like piles of snow right around my truck,” Jonasson says. His food truck won’t be leaving his yard until the snow starts to melt.

“I could get a tractor to pull it out and move it all out, and work with that, but it would just be nice if it would be a bit warmer to do it.”

Usually this time of year, he’s getting his annual health and fire inspections done.

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“You need the time to get it done early so you don’t have to panic when things start opening up.”

Read more: Winnipeg identifies properties at risk of river flooding

Meanwhile, Sargent Sundae, a seasonal ice cream shop in St. James, had to push back its opening date due to the weather.

“Just with all the snow right now, it did push us back by about a week,” said owner Andrew Dusessoy.

Luckily for the ice cream shop, the slow arrival of spring weather doesn’t seem to deter hearty Winnipeggers.

“There’s been a great flow of traffic – everyone’s coming in right now,” he says. “People love their ice cream!”

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