Thursday, March 20, 2014

"It kills us": How power outages affect local businesses like Kangaroo Boxing Club

Aside from just being tough on residents, power outages, especially unexpected ones, can be major problems for local business.

During last night's power outage, Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner Patrick Flynn emailed a number of folks with Pepco's response. One of those in copy was Josh Salzman, owner of Kangaroo Boxing Club on 11th Street north of Park Road, as well as the owner of Ivy & Coney on 7th Street and the PORC food truck.

Local business owners are getting very frustrated at the continuous power outages in the area, which cost them business and lost inventory. I asked Josh a few questions about how the power outages affected Kangaroo Boxing Club and here's what he had to say. As you can see, there are major impacts.


How many outages have you had, and for how long?
We've had four outages in the last year. The shortest was 15 hours and the longest was over two days (during thanksgiving to boot).

How do they affect your business?
It kills us. Not only do we lose massive amounts of revenue, but our refrigeration goes down too, obviously. That means we lose all of our food , and considering we are a BBQ joint, it takes us another day to recover.

You mentioned that Pepco had told businesses that there would be outages and would work with you. Can you tell me more about that?
They said they would work with the neighborhood to minimize impact to both residents and businesses as they improved our local power grid. Obviously, it hasn't happened soon enough as we are still having the same issues.
Do you get any advanced warning for them?
We were told we will get advanced warning, but once last year they did not inform us and the power went out in the middle of service with a full restaurant. It was incredibly careless of them considering how dangerous it is to not be able to see while standing in front of hot flames.

Have you reached out to anybody else to try to fix this? The city or others?
We've reached out to [Ward 1 Councilman] Grahams office, but there's not much anyone can do. They have a monopoly and we all need power.

Is there anything you'd like to tell Pepco and the readers about the outages?
All I'd say is that a company should not show unbelievable profits and ask for rate increases if they're providing shoddy service and using an aging infrastructure. It's time for them to step up their game. I think we can all agree on that.


1 comment:

IsmeSon said...

I feel so sorry for them and the strip of small businesses on 11th street between Park and Monroe. They've experienced one too many blackouts, and all within the past year! This is totally UNACCEPTABLE!

DC can be a total 3rd world city sometimes. Relying on Pepco's word is wishful thinking. I'd say take matters into your own hands... invest in a generator to power your refrigeration systems. It's not going to keep you in business during the blackout but at least you won't lose your stock.

Sorry guys!!!