By Juan Latapi
CHICAGO—Five passing storms in the last five days have raised this month’s rainfall to 9.75 inches, making it the wettest July in Chicago’s history.
Meanwhile, business in the loop area has slowed down, leaving owners worried about an already shrinking market. Many residents in the area have decided to stay indoors as of to avoid the increasingly bad weather. “People are staying home to eat or watch the games and have a beer,” Betty Lawrence, owner of Betty’s Hair and Nails on State Street said, “many of our employees are standing around; there’s not enough customers to keep them busy.”
Betty is not alone. Tom Smith, manager of Border Books in the Leeve Plaza, located at DePaul University’s Loop Campus, calculates that 50 percent of his customer count has gone down due to the recent weather.
This all comes in the wake of a tense economic climate where shoppers, worried about jobs and the overall economy, already have pulled back on spending.
Equally as affected are the local educational institutions. Elliot Anderson, an economics professor at DePaul University’s Loop campus, said that the he has noticed a marked difference in attendance in the last week. When asked about the low attendance, Allison Harbor, 17, a DePaul freshman expressed her dislike for the recent weather. “It’s too wet to wait outside,” Harbor said, “I’m just using my ‘skip days’ now instead of when the weather is nice.”
As local forecasters predict a record rainfall for the month, business owners lose income by the minute, and are left wondering what the next step is. “We’ve lost an average of $6,000 a day,” Lawrence said, “We are thinking about cutting back our hours if it doesn’t stop.”