White-out conditions mean retail blues in New England - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

White-out conditions mean retail blues in New England

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By PHILIP MARCELO AND STEVE LeBLANC
Associated Press
  
BOSTON (AP) -- Historic snowfalls in New England are exacting a heavy toll on the regional economy, even before this weekend sees yet another storm.
  
State and local governments in Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island have spent millions in plowing and other inclement weather expenses. Economists say retail businesses are struggling and that's affecting some of the most vulnerable workers -- those earning hourly wages at low-paying jobs.
  
But car dealerships hoping for a strong President's Day weekend to help make up for an abysmal month for sales aren't getting any help from another storm. Restaurants also are hoping to bounce back with Valentine's Day meals Saturday, but many couples will likely stay in with a blizzard warning in effect.
  
Past storms have already dumped more than 6 feet in the Boston area.

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