Summer Weather a Boost to Local Businesses

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By Brittany Bivins

The weather is heating up here in Alabama, and so is the shopping season. For some businesses, the warmer weather is key for their bottom lines.

That includes places like Terra Cotta in Troy, which sells flowers, garden equipment and landscaping supplies. Owner Bryant Smith says things are slow until a warm snap hits.

"People come out of hibernation, so you can tell in the south when it starts to get warm, because people start scurrying," he said.

His customers say there's something about summer that makes them want to spend a little more for flowers.

"It just adds energy and pleasure, to me. It makes me happy. My flowers make me happy," said Jana Jackson.

That makes retailers happy too, because this season can make or break them.

"That's from the south, to i've got friends who own garden centers, you know, way up north and in Chicago and stuff and that's the number one factor, is the weather," said Smith.

It's not just garden centers seeing the difference. Ice cream shops and snow cone stands see a big increase in traffic from customers looking for a sweet treat.

Summertime Snow, a snow cone stand on Highway 231 in Troy sells more than 100 snow cones every day from April through September.

"It's busy. It's like nonstop. Everybody's always coming and coming and coming. It's nonstop," said Brittany Jetson, who works at the snow cone stand.

Hilary Bryant says it's not Summer without one.

"I guess because it's cold, but you still get that sweetness, so you get your desert, but it's cold," said Bryant.

According to the National Retail Federation, Memorial Day officially kicks off the summer spending season. The busiest time will usually last until August, when students prepare to go back to school.

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