‘It adds up’: Snowstorms put Kansas City small business owners’ profits on ice

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. — While school closings and road conditions are the most discussed topics when the snow piles up in KC, the winter weather can have a devastating impact on small business owners, private contractors and the self-employed.

“When I don’t work, I don’t get paid,” said Jodi Pennington, the owner of Jodi’s Hive hair salon. “I don’t have vacation time. I don’t have anyone trying to compensate for it. It adds up.”

Pennington has spent the last decade building up her clientele to become one of the most sought after stylists in the metro.

Her regular clients include local celebrities and “Instagram influencers” like Brooke Lynn, the wife Kansas City Chiefs lineman Mitchell Schwartz.

But a full day of cancelled appointments — because of snow — takes a sizable bite out of her bottom line.

“Everyone seems to be really affected by this,” Pennington said. “And everyone that I work with, they’re struggling as well. And if you’re not working, you’re not getting paid, and you can’t pay for (my) services either.”

And like many restaurants in Kansas City, the timing of this year’s snowstorms create even more of a problem. Several times this winter, snowstorms happened on or near a weekend.

“I am really worried about tomorrow,” Pennington said. “It will be my fourth Saturday since the first of the year that we’ve not been able to work because of the weather.”

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