Y2k Problem Affects Businesses


As the date approaches, worries of Y2k disasters are migrating to the mainstream. Despite reassurances from experts the Y2k bug is continuing to be an issue. It is selling books, videos, and provisions from freeze-dried foods to hand-cranked radios.
Galen Lehman, owner of a small town hardware and appliance business in Kidron, Ohio sells only electricity-free items. He doesn’t know what to do, people have been coming and buying everything he has, he can’t keep up with the sales. He didn’t start up his business because of the Y2k problem; however, it has been doing very well since the public was made aware of the problem.
A December USA TODAY poll found that 65% of Americans say they’re worried enough to probably get copies of their financial records in case bank computers fail. 31% say they’ll probably withdraw and set aside a large amount of cash. 26% will probably stockpile food and water. 17% will probably buy a generator or wood stove. 16% say they’ll probably withdraw all of their money from the bank.
Six months ago, Oregon Freeze Dry Foods, Inc., which previously did most of its business with the military, had only one or two private orders a month. Today, the company receives 75-100 requests a day from the public for their Mountain House line. That includes food from chicken teriyaki to mushroom omelets.
Solar products and generators are also hot items now. Golden Genesis, and international manufacturer of solar products, has seen a 40% percent increase in business in recent months. They expect another 40% increase before the year 2000.
The Y2k bug is helping and hurting businesses of all kinds. Many people are contributing to the fall of some businesses, and the improvement of others.