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Inwood Teens Launch Shoveling Business to Help Out Snowed-In Drivers

By Carolina Pichardo | January 27, 2016 3:57pm
 Stiver Casimiro, 18, said he thought of snow shoveling idea after the winter storm.
Inwood Snow-Shoveling Business
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INWOOD — There’s no business like snow business for these local teens.

A group of enterprising youngsters launched a spur-of-the-moment snow-shoveling business to help clear out drivers' cars, after the weekend storm dumped more than 2 feet of snow on the city.

Stiver Casimiro, 18, said he was sleeping over at his 17-year-old friend Stephon Polanco’s house during the storm when he hatched the plan.

“I thought about it Saturday night, and then Sunday morning I asked Stephon for some looseleaf [paper] and markers,” Casimiro said. “I wrote on 150 pages, saying we’ll clean snow off cars for $20.” 

The duo, who both live on Dyckman Street, posted the handmade flyers throughout buildings in Inwood and Washington Heights without knowing if they would actually work, Casimiro said.

Casimiro was given a shovel by a neighbor, and Polanco found an old one is his mother's closet. With that, they were ready to dig in.

"Everyone didn't think it'd work," Casimiro noted, "but once it started, it was benefiting us a lot." 

Casimiro said that before he knew it, several people called asking the teens to dig out their cars. In response, he reached out to friends Juwan Polanco, 17, and Cristian Disla, 19, to help with the workload. Casimiro divides the earnings up based on who helps with each car.

“We actually missed some people,” he said, “because people kept calling me.”

Due to demand, they raised the price to $30 in some cases for tougher jobs.

By Wednesday morning, Casimiro said the team had shoveled out 15 cars, with several more scheduled that day. 

Each member of the crew attends high school, but they're off this week due to the Regents exam, leaving plenty of time to work, Polanco said.

Inwood resident Michael Trei was one of the first to call the teens to dig out his “severely buried” car at Sherman Avenue and Ellwood Street.

“It was bad,” Trei said. “Otherwise, I would’ve had to do it myself.”

This is the first time Trei has paid to have someone dig out his car, he said, but he's happy to support “enterprising people.”

Casimiro said he’s not sure where the business will take them, but he’s more than happy to continue working in the community.

“I don’t mind still doing it,” he said. “As long as it helps.”