Winter hits economy with lost sales

(WJLA) - At Giuseppi’s Pizza in Rockville, owner Scott Feldman wishes this winter had never happened.

"It's been rough,” says Feldman, who estimates his businesses is down 12 percent.

“We've had a lot of days this winter where we've had half days, where we have to close early -- and we've had a lot of days where we've been open but didn't do a full day's worth of business," he explains.

And builder Rob Shapiro can only shovel the sidewalk at his construction site, as it’s just way too cold to work on the house itself.

"I have my footings in but I can't get my walls poured," he says.

He says that lost time is lost money, while up the street Joe Little says he was stunned when he opened his Pepco bill – which is usually $300.

"Last month I had a $600 electric bill; I wound up cutting down a bunch of trees for firewood. That's how I heat my house -- it's rough," says Little.

University of Maryland economist Peter Morici says the long, cold winter has hit hard:

"About $50 billion in lost GDP," he says.

Morici says certain things like car sales will bounce back, but there is no way to recover money spent on energy or lost restaurant meals.

Just ask this subway manager in Largo. He opened for a while on Monday, but no customers came.

"No customers, that means no money," says Jahangir Alam.