US: Historic cold forces businesses to modify operations, close

Some floral industry businesses in the Midwest were forced to modify operations or temporarily close their businesses on Jan. 30 in the face of bone-chilling, historic cold temperatures.

“It is turbo chilly here,” said Laura Daluga, AIFD, owner of Department of Floristry, which serves metro areas around Chicago and Detroit. “Of our four local wholesalers, one is closed entirely, two have limited hours and no delivery, the fourth is, like us, still running despite the cold.”

According to the National Weather Service, nearly 90 million people are likely to experience temperatures at or below zero this week — 25 million people will face temperatures below minus 20.

The extreme cold has created ripple effects around the country and in specific regions, with closures among schools, businesses and government offices and agencies — even the U.S. Postal Service announced it would suspend its delivery services in some areas. Transportation also has been affected: Amtrak canceled all services in and out of Chicago and thousands of flights in and out of Chicago, St. Louis and Minneapolis, among other major airports, have been grounded.

For many floral industry business owners, the decision to close rested primarily on one important consideration: staff safety.

Read more at the Society of American Florists (Sheila Santiago)

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