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Who's open when bad weather hits?

By Jim Conrad, jconrad@wcyb.com
Published On: Feb 13 2014 04:19:00 PM CST
Updated On: Feb 13 2014 05:29:04 PM CST

It's an age-old question -- should you close your business when bad weather hits, or open and not have any customers?

BRISTOL, Tenn. -

The winter weather has been quite the problem for local businesses as owners decide whether to close because of the storm or open up for those hardy souls who get out in it.

Some keep the doors open to offer some much-needed products and services.

The normally bustling downtown Bristol looked a little lonely on a snowy Thursday; some businesses were dark and closed because of our most recent storm.

Signs were posted for postponements on some doors, but a welcoming sign to come and get warm with one of life's food staples -- pizza -- was too much to pass up. "We're open today. It looks like a lot of people are not open, but we weathered the storm and we came in," says Little Italy owner Roland Ramirez.

Then the question was whether to remain open because so many people were staying home because of the storm. "We were debating around 11:30 whether we should close because there was nobody around. Then all of a sudden people started popping in, so we're here for the duration," Ramirez said.

Ramirez tells us that he was proud of the city for getting the streets and sidewalks cleared so that those who ventured out would be safe.

Out on Volunteer Parkway, we found another open sign at Auto Zone. Drivers need automobile parts, especially during bad weather.

Store manager Alton Spivey told us customers were stopping in sporadically. "People are already looking for washer fluid, ice scrapers, they're looking for batteries and wiper blades today," he said. Drivers often forget those somewhat minor parts until they fail during inclement weather conditions.

"We just said we're going to be here for the public and promise to take care of them, just being here for them," Spivey said.

And when the weather finally clears up, it's those weather warriors that we'll remember.