Area business feels the chill

BRANDON TOWNSHIP – As the mercury rises slower than molasses in January, so are sales and profits of some local businesses.
“Our business has been low to less,” said Bob Arnesen of James Lumber in Ortonville. “These temperatures affect everyone.”
Nighttime businesses such as the Village Pub have noticed a drop in clientele, according to pub co-owner Drew Guirey. Grocery stores and churches have noticed a slight drop in morning visitors, but restaurant traffic remains steady.
An informal survey of local merchants shows the recent deep freeze has positively catered to personal health, cosmetic, and fitness improvements.
“Actually, business has been good,” said Everett Pipkins, owner of Whole Life Fitness. “People are focused more on their health.”
Other areas of industry either been positively affected or at the same level are real estate, car dealerships and fuel services.
“Definitely an increase in business,” said Karyn Milligan, co-owner of Northwest Heating and Cooling. Milligan advises residents to keep a watchful eye on fuel tank levels. When area temperatures remain low, residents can save service call and weekend call costs by maintaining a “keep-fill” maintenance schedule with their fuel supplier.
Milligan said there are many community organizations ready to assist low income residents with heating costs during the cold weather season.
The good news is outside crime action has decreased. However, according to Oakland County Sheriff Sgt. Tim McIaasc, domestic violence has increased because people are spending more time at home.
“Spending more time at home can sometimes lead to boredom and alcohol consumption, which can lead to violence,” said McIsaac.