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Yellowknife businesses being impacted by milder December

A handful of Yellowknife businesses are being negatively impacted by warmer weather as we approach the official start to winter.

While many of us may be welcoming milder temperatures, some businesses say it’s resulted in fewer people walking through their doors.

Autotec owner Brian Hixenbaugh reckons most trades are feeling the effects of a warm start to December.

He says auto repair shops, plumbers and fuel delivery services in Yellowknife are on a ‘long list’ of businesses most affected by warmer weather.

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As far as Hixenbaugh is concerned, those temperatures have resulted in fewer people getting their vehicles winterized. He’s hoping that will change after the holidays.

“People are holding back thinking the cold weather isn’t coming so maybe they’re going to wait until after Christmas and into the new year before they bother to get their car ready,” he said.

“It’s certainly milder than the last number of years, up to this point anyways. I’m sure the cold weather is coming, it’s just a matter of when.”

Hixenbaugh says it’s still too early in the season to say exactly how much business is down, but he’s confident he can attribute it to milder temperatures.

Jason Smith, owner of J-Tech Automotive, says business has been steady so far this month, if not slightly down on last year.

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He blames the weather – and timing – for fewer people getting their vehicles winterized.

“It’s definitely a lot milder and that has affected the freeze-up,” he said.

“That’s when we really get busy, when cars freeze up, get towed in, we do the oil change and clean up the plugs.

“What you have to remember though is that it’s Christmas. People are going to spend more time shopping than spending money getting their cars fixed.

“I think some places forget that.”

Both shops expect business to pick in mid-January once the holidays are over and temperatures plummet.

“It starts booming then,” said Smith. “It goes from what it’s like now to ‘holy crap, what do I do?’

“I’ve kind of enjoyed the milder start [to winter] though. It doesn’t make the winter feel so long and it’s better for snowmobiling.”

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