The winter roller coaster we've been on causes more hardship than wondering what to do with the kids when school is closed.

It hurts local business.

Professor Paul Isley from the GVSU Economics Department told WOOD-TV 8 this week that the recent bout with bad weather probably cost the local economy upwards of $100 million.

The good news is most of that money just goes back into the local economy, and while some suffer, others benefit.

"That effect of the damage tends to be a changing of the hands. It makes some people happy." Isley told WOOD-TV 8.

Snow plow drivers and body shop owners stand to benefit from the icy conditions, some having to work long hours to cover the workload.

And then there is the great equalizer of power outages. Everybody loses when the power goes out it seems.

Mark  Veenstra of Veenstra's Garage told News 8, "All of a sudden everything goes black. We look at each other and find our choicest words not to say."

He admits the power outages can offset the gain of business from cars sliding into each other.

The Grand Rapids Business Journal, meanwhile, reports that some businesses were hit harder than others, with restaurants getting hurt the most.

Oscar Moreno of MeXo says closing his restaurant during bad weather costs his business dearly, since eating out is a big time business in the winter.

The power outages really cause havoc, as food goes bad, inflicting more damages.

GRBJ also reported that despite the best efforts of managers to stay open, sales were still off.

Chris Andrus, co-owner of The Mitten Brewing Co., at 527 Leonard St. NW, said his business only closed one full day, Monday, and was open for short days Tuesday-Thursday after he and his co-owner Max Trierweiler decided to give employees the option to stay home or volunteer to come in for work.

“Most of the staff opted not to come in on Wednesday after we offered the option to stay home,” Andrus said. “We operated with a threadbare crew of nonscheduled volunteers and managers. We had a good day, and it was worthwhile.”

Still, sales fell 11 percent from the same week the previous year.