Businesses discuss how many dollars were lost during this week's deep freeze

WSBT 22 photo

As businesses begin to normalize operations as we come out of the cold snap, a lot of money has been lost -- and it's money that may never come back.

Experts say the U.S. economy lost an estimated $5 billion during a winter we may all remember, the Polar Vortex of 2014.

The Target store off University Drive in Mishawaka stayed open throughout the cold but saw only about a quarter of the foot traffic expected on a typical January day.

Nearby at the Metro Diner, the restaurant closed early Tuesday, shutdown entirely Wednesday and opened up late Thursday. Bob Wales, the diner's managing partner, says that totals up to thousands of lost dollars

But Paul Walsh, IBM's Global Director of Consumer Weather Strategy, does not believe the Midwest will take a multi-billion dollar hit like we did back in the seemingly never-ending winter of 2014.

"The reason I don't think it is going to be quite as bad as 2014 is that we aren't going to have extended conditions that we had in 2014," said Walsh. "It's happening mid-week and is short-lived. It's awful and incredibly cold, but it's not going to last very long at all."

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