After a few mild days that made J-term bearable, Indiana weather has come through once again with several blankets of snow.
Businesses have experienced everything from well-groomed pavement to trouble keeping up with the constant snowfall, as the layers continue to cover Upland and the surrounding areas in snow and ice. Daily challenges of clearing roads and parking lots are important for safe travel and maintaining a steady customer base.
The weather has meant another incentive for people to stay home besides COVID-19. While the cold and sickness may not be a recipe for high season, small businesses like The Bridge and Ivanhoes, continue to eagerly serve those willing to make the trip for a hot coffee or delicious milkshake.
Ice cream from the beloved Ivanhoe’s may not be the first thought that comes to mind in the midst of a winter storm, but General Manager Mark Souers says they are open as long as the weather allows.
“We try to stay open as much as we can through the snow,” Souers said. “Our policy is if the county declares a snow emergency and puts the red out, then we close,” Souers continued.
Upland businesses each deal with plowing individually. For example, Best-One Tire and Auto Care owner, Mike Pearson, handles snow-clearing duties for his company, while other businesses have not been as fortunate.
Each year when a new semester begins, students bring local businesses like The Bridge to life. During normal circumstances, they would not be struggling to find customers, yet continue to gladly serve both in person and carry out.
The Bridge continues to serve only the finest ingredients and looks forward to the day when ice and snow are not a factor against seasonal traffic and the employee base. Occasionally, they have sent employees home early due to treacherous conditions.
A recent issue for The Bridge has been parking, as customers tend to gravitate to the cleared lot next door. Bethany Berning, staff manager and community coordinator at The Bridge, continued to say how Sunoco gas station has expressed that their space be utilized solely for their services.
Other businesses, like Best-One, have experienced the opposite: a steady customer base and increase because of the weather. Cars and cold weather do not get along, so Best-One is there to keep people moving about when safe.
Robert Adams, Best-One service manager, had a positive outlook on Upland’s snow condition.
“I think Upland has done a very good job of it (keeping the roads cleared),” Adams said. “I haven’t really seen any major incidents out there due to the snow,” he continued.
For some, fighting the snow is every man for himself, but Upland has that small town feel cultivated by small business owners and customers that support each other during trying times.