With April showers about to turn into snow showers once more, many Minnesota businesses say they are feeling the winter blues.
As the general manager of Stillwater's Sunnyside Marina, Rick Chapman often finds himself on a tight schedule to keep his 250 boat owners happy.
"We do eight boats per day, 40 boats per week," he said. "That's the plan."
Each spring, Chapman targets the second Monday in April as the ideal date to start putting boats in the water.
"For our boaters, every weekend is important," he explained.
According to Chapman, his customers count on that early launch to extend what is already a short season in Minnesota.
"Really, it's 25 to 30 weeks of boating," he said.
This year, however, the St. Croix River is still iced over south of the Stillwater Lift Bridge. That means all the boats will stay wrapped in plastic for at least another week, maybe more.
"It may have been ambitious … but based on the last several years, the eighth was a good date," he said.
Depending on what Mother Nature has up her sleeve, a lot of businesses could keep feeling that lag.
"In the clothing business, you are always affected by weather -- especially this year," said Roxanne Sullivan, of Trade Winds.
Even at the boutiques on St. Paul's Grand Avenue, it's a struggle to escape the seasonal slump. Yet, Sullivan said the way to spring into a sunnier disposition is color, color and more color.
"When you start talking positive and we start talking color, it changes attitudes and people respond to it," she said. "It brings up the spirit and, before you know it, it's here."
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