Watch CBS News

For Jimmie Williams At Urban Roots, Snow 'Is White Gold' For His Company And His Workers Trying To Catch A Break

CHICAGO (CBS) -- It was a slow commute Friday night, drivers along area expressways forced to deal with slick and slushy conditions on their drive home.

While downtown, crews worked to make the sidewalks passable.

Many a citizen has enjoyed the limited snow storms, but don't put Jimmie Williams in that category.

"This is white gold, it feels really good," said Williams. "The phone was ringing off the hook today."

He owns and operates Urban Roots, a small landscaping and snow removal company on the South Side. It aims to hire those with criminal records who can't find work elsewhere.

"We're are literally helping to put food on people's tables that can't even find a job for the most part," Williams said. "It significantly affects the workers to the point they're out of work because we don't' have work for them if it's not snowing."

When your bottom line depends on something falling, it can lead you worry.

"It's pretty lucrative; it just doesn't snow every day," Williams said.

This winter season has proven to be light. Williams says this is one of his worst years since opening back 2008.

"We had a few ice patches, but nothing we were able to capitalize off of for the season."

Another dry year in 2016 forced him change how he handles business. Several commercial clients now get services under a seasonal contract---it guarantees some money for his drivers up to certain amount of snow.

"We might have let's say 30 inches this year, but next year we might have 70 but our cap is 40 inches," Williams said.

EMERGENCY COMPONENT - LOCAL

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.