Not only is this winter's cold weather beginning to tax the patience of area residents, it also is taking a toll on regional businesses.
In findings released Thursday based on a poll conducted from Feb. 7-10 in Michigan, already one in five businesses had laid off employees because of the weather and 92 percent of business owners said they had experienced a "significant financial impact because of the weather."
And, when you stop and reflect on that, the really cold weather of the month had yet to hit Michigan. Imagine what the findings might be, for example, if the poll was taken this past week.
The poll was conducted by Small Business Majority, a national business advocacy organization.
Let us use the newspaper as an example. Certainly our utility costs this year are higher as a result of the cold winter and we already have exhausted our annual budget for winter snow removal - and February just ended.
Last week a whole truckload of newsprint could not be delivered because of weather conditions, and this week we were informed needed supplies to run our press could not be shipped until the temperature rose to at least 15 degrees.
And we haven't even discussed yet the nightmare created by the winter for our carriers and circulation department.
Without a doubt the harsh weather has created a huge drain on our resources.
The poll revealed that 44 percent of Michigan business owners surveyed already had been forced to close their business at some point this winter because of the weather.
Is it any wonder all of us are dreaming of warm locations and tropical vacations?