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Last year’s snowstorm forces newspaper company into bankruptcy

On Behalf of | Dec 19, 2015 | business & commercial bankruptcy |

Businesses end up having to file for bankruptcy for a variety of reasons. Some may have to do with poor decision-making while others may have more to do with the economic climate. But what about the actual climate, as in our weather outside? For one company in New York, the weather actually proved to be devastating financially.

The company, Community Papers of Western New York LLC, recently filed for bankruptcy. The company owns 24 local newspapers in western New York. The company has more than $1 million in debt and hopes to come up with a way to repay the debts without letting go of any of their employees.

While the chief executive of the company says the community newspaper industry is very strong financially, he says it was no match for the numerous snowstorms in November of 2014. During that time, many people in the area were snowed in with more than seven feet of snow on the ground.

The chief executive explained that it was difficult to sell advertising and deliver newspapers for the two weeks that people were stranded in their home. The company’s employees couldn’t come to work, but the company continued to pay them.

The storm cost them about $700,000. Although the company sought funds from a national disaster fund, the company did not have the proper paperwork to prove its case.

The two-dozen newspapers reach some 230,000 people in the community, so it’s understandable that the company wants to be able to pay off their debt and continue serving the community.