LAURA WATILO BLAKE

Though the droughts in the West and South were more intense than what the Northeast experienced in 2016, the West and South are used to drier conditions. For the Northeast, the drought was a challenge, as 83% of respondents said that weather was the biggest external factor to impact their selling season. The Northeast tends to diversify more than their Western and Southern counterparts, perhaps because of the seasonality of their businesses. They had higher than average percentages of companies that had apparel departments, farmers markets, gift shops and services like custom container creation. The hottest trends reported were organic/sustainable gardening and succulents/cacti.

MONEY: THINKSTOCKPHOTOS.COM / SUCCULENTS , VEGGIE BASKET AND SUN ILLUSTRATION: MATTHEW LAZNICKA