Troy University students are out for the summer, and that means many of them are heading home. That can put a big strain on Troy businesses, which depend on those customers to get by.
Businesses around Troy are getting ready for the summer slowdown. Alabama News Network spoke to one restaurant owner who says she's taking extra steps this year to keep the customers coming.
Patti Davis opened Milky Moo's in August 2011. She says Summer 2012 was a learning experience. "The kids left and it was almost like winter time, so it was a big decrease in sales, which surprised me," said Davis.
She says business drops by up to 20 percent during the summer. That can have a ripple effect.
"I have to cut hours in the summer and the winter time, so that's hard. It's hard on everybody. It's hard on me to do it, and the kids, they depend on the income as well, so it's hard to cut those hour," she said.
This year, though, she's taking extra steps to get more customers coming in.
"This year we are, we have a billboard up and we have some direct mailers that have gone out, and we're trying to provide incentive for the locals to come in," said Davis.
Davis says her main goal is attracting more customers who live in Troy full-time, people like Betty Sue Jordan, who says she comes in almost everyday with her grandson.
"It's such good service here and it's always with a smile, and I just really believe in supporting out local businesses here, and they're always so sweet to us," said Jordan.
Those are exactly the kind of customers businesses like Milky Moo's are counting on.
"The people who live here year-round are definitely the ones I'm targeting right now. They are the ones who will keep us in business. If I don't have them coming in, I can't depends on the students for business to stay open, so it's vital," said Davis.
Business owners say although they do see crowds shrink in the summer, they're hoping more Troy residents will eat and shop locally to support local businesses.
Troy's spring classes ended last week. The fall semester starts on August 14th.