AR small business sees spike in revenue due to winter storms - KATV - Breaking News, Weather and Razorback Sports

AR small business sees spike in revenue due to winter storms

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LITTLE ROCK (KATV) - This week's winter ice storms can put a damper on things for some people who saw their plans abruptly canceled. But one local business owner says severe weather means empty shelves and higher revenue for him.

"It's getting kind of terrible," said Torie Bynum. "If it turns bad, we could be without power."

Bynum's Christmas list looks a little different this year. He braved the cold Saturday not for toys or a Christmas tree but something much more basic.

"We were actually buying a heater," he said.

After a brutal winter storm last year that left over 200,000 without electricity Bynum, like many other Arkansans, is learning the art of preparing for the worst.

"Thursday was just ridiculous," said Bobby Fuller, owner of Fuller and Son, a hardware store.

Fuller knows first hand what that rush looks like.

"It was just crowded in here, we had people in the car circling the parking lot looking for a parking place," said Fuller.

Empty shelves, long lines and non existent displays.

"We had a truck Friday, yesterday, and almost sold out of that too," said Fuller.

And, yes, a bump in revenue; about 20 percent. But Fuller says it's not the money that drives him. It's how much his customers depend on him.

"We really have a responsibility to the community to be ready for things like this," said Fuller.

"I've had some managers that will spend the night in the store when they might not be able to get here in the morning," said Fuller.

But Fuller insists there doesn't have to be chaos before the storm. Yet, it's something he sees every year without fail.

"I'm always taken back that we're not more prepared for something like this," he said.

So take this advice from a man who's been in the storm preparation business for most of his life.

"It's not like On the Prairie, when here comes the storm," said Fuller. "I mean, we know weeks ahead. At least a week ahead. Just be prepared."