With the official start of fall, many people will be swapping their refreshing slushies for pumpkin spice lattes.
January is always a low point for business activity, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. But for local businesses that rely on warmer weather, that slump can come as early as October.
Paul Laparra, co-owner of Garden Valley Farmers Market in Burlington, said business is starting to slow as the seasons change.
“You don’t have three months, four months of beautiful weather,” Laparra said. “Everybody’s getting ready for cold weather.”
Spring is the busiest season for the farmers market, according to Laparra. He and his staff work seven days a week during the peak season, piling all their weekends and holidays to the off-season.
“I’m a family man, I have three boys,” Laparra said. “So it’s good for me to be able to spend as much time as I can with them.”
But the time off is not good for all seasonal employees. Jaden Stephens, an employee at Pelican’s SnoBalls, has been working for three summer seasons.
“The numbers start to thin out as weather gets colder,” he said.
Stephens said the shop’s busiest time is from June to August, when their fruity ice treats are in high demand with the North Carolina humidity.
But the store will close in October and re-open in March, leaving Stephens, a student at Alamance Community College, and others without work for nearly five months.
“When I first started I was a junior in high school so I usually made enough money to get myself by,” he said. “Me being in college now, I have to have a little more of a financial need.”
Stephens said in previous seasons, he has not had another job in the off-season. But this year he said he’s trying to save up to buy an apartment, and is looking for a second job.