Businesses in northern Michigan and the Upper Peninsula suffered greatly due to the lack of snow and now the federal government is stepping in with economic relief.

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What is a Snow Drought?

Normally when you think of a drought it's due to lack of rain, but in a state where some businesses rely on snowfall, you can experience another kind of drought.

Yes, there is such a thing as a snow drought. This can cause many problems because it reduces both summer and winter water availability, impacts the water supply, and presents challenges for ecosystems that could be disruptive or harmful to wildlife.

If you own a ski lodge, nearby hotels, restaurants, gas stations, local shopping and more can take a huge hit on a community where its income relies heavily on snow to generate business in the winter months like in Michigan's Upper Peninsula and the northern portion of the Lower Peninsula.

There are plenty of Michigan towns where snowmobiling is a way of life and requires there to be snow for those to visit which helps fuel those small-town economies. My son and I only snowmobiled a few days this season because we only had enough snow on the ground for about two weekends. The Upper Peninsula had one of its lowest snowfalls on record, which crushed many towns' busiest times for business of the year.

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According to WOOD, this winter was the warmest on record in the state of Michigan. Countless annual winter events were canceled due to lack of snow. Not to mention all the businesses tied to snowmobiling, skiing, snowboarding, and even ice fishing were devasted by the lack of tourism.

If you have a small business that was affected by the lack of snow, you can apply for assistance by clicking here. To find out if your county made the list for federal assistance click here.

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