The record snowfall which happened on Friday 5 last week and brought to the shut down of federal government in the last three days is said to cost taxpayers and local businesses approximately $100 million each day.
On Thursday night, the Office of Personnel Management made an announcement that the federal government will be closed for the fourth day on Friday. It is estimated that around $100 million in productivity and other costs is lost each day the government closed.
On Thursday, snowfall reached highest annual record. According to the National Weather Service in Sterling, Virginia, snow thickness in the capital reached 9.8 inches pushing the seasonal total to 54.9 inches which exceeds the high record in 1898-1899.
Although the federal government agencies have been shut down officially, their employees are still working. According to Steve Ellis, vice president of Taxpayers for Common Sense, government employees telecommute or bring work home. Reports are sent to offices and some critical works have been finished.
According to the head of the Washington-based Concord Coalition Robert Bixty, the closure of federal government "is a cost of doing business".
Due to the whiteout condition, electric supplier for Washington Pepco had its crew off work. Also on Thursday, Washington's Dulles International and Reagan National airports were closed.
However, according to economist Peter Morici from the University of Maryland in College Park, government shutdown will not affect largely on the business.
Meanwhile, the shutdown of federal government along with the snow storm, according to Barbara Lang, president of the D.C. Chamber of Commerce, affects greatly on small stores and restaurants downtown. The president thinks that these businesses will lose around millions of dollars.
Nevertheless, the icy weather help some business earn profits. The Dupont Hotel, for example, earned twice as much money than a normal weekend day by serving beer, malts and Irish coffee outside in its "ice bar".
According to David von Storch, president and founder of three Vida Fitness gyms in Washington, though attendance is down 50 percent, he's winning a lot of "positive PR points" with customers.
In spite of the whiteout weather, on Thursday President Obama still managed to hold the discussion on job creation in the White House as scheduled. Though most staff were absent, the president still talked in about an hour about the job creation with civil leader including Al Sharpton and Benjamin Jealous, the president of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.