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Survey: Wintry weather had silver lining for some businesses

Kevin Shields, an owner of Shields Hardware in

Kevin Shields, an owner of Shields Hardware in Port Washington, helps Rocco Fontana select a snow shovel on Jan. 20, 2014. Credit: Newsday / Audrey C. Tiernan

This year's severe winter had a silver lining for a small group of companies in the metropolitan region and upstate New York.

Nearly 4 percent of manufacturers and service businesses said they had higher sales in January and last month because of the cold and snow, according to a survey released Tuesday.

The Federal Reserve Bank of New York found that more service firms, such as retailers, said they benefited from the snowstorms than manufacturers: 4.6 percent compared with 3 percent.

The responses came from the bank's monthly survey of about 100 factories in New York State and about 100 service businesses in the metro area.

Almost one in six respondents said snowstorms had cut their sales by at least 10 percent in both January and February.

"Considerably more than half of the service firms and nearly half of the manufacturers maintained that inclement weather reduced revenues by at least 2 percent," the bank said in a statement.

Respondents also blamed the cold and snow for higher costs in the first two months of the year.

About half of the factories and service firms surveyed said their costs had risen "slightly" due to the weather.

Manufacturers appeared to be more affected. Twelve percent said their costs had increased "substantially" compared with 7 percent of service businesses.

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