Spend the money on a decent snow blower, I use Honda's but I don't expect everyone to pay that kind of money for new machines, several used ones for sale at half price in great shape in my area.
If they give you crap, all you have to say is that nobody gets paid until all shovels and spreaders are returned. As far as legalities are concerned, they stole your equipment.
I definitely take the route of hiring on good guy to run a snow blower and maybe even have a second guy to take over the shift part way through.
There is an Old Blue Chair for each and every one of us, we just have to find it.
2006 GMC Sierra 2500hd crew cab with 6.0 gas
Hustler X-one 60"
Toro Proline 36" wb w/t-bar controls
JS46 22" walk-behind $500 piece of $h!t, don't buy one
Shindaiwa T254, Echo trimmers, chainsaws, pole hedge trimmer, pole saw, hedge trimmer
Shindaiwa 633 and Husqvarna 130BT blower