Troy Students Return, Bring More Traffic for Local Businesses

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By Brittany Bivins

School is back in session at Troy University and that's having a big impact on local businesses. That's because the start of a new semester means thousands more people are in Troy today than there were last week.

Some Pike County businesses tell me revenue goes up 30 percent when students come back into town. They say that makes a big impact on their bottom line.

For restaurants like Mama Goldberg's in Troy, the return of thousands of college students means a big spike in the number of sandwiches, nachos and sodas they'll sell.

"College kids come in and pretty much double, we can see a definite difference between the daytime activity and nighttime activity, so when they're absent, there's a definite miss in our revenue here," said Brett Vann, manager and partner of Mama Goldberg's.

He says regular customers still come when school's out of session, but students provide a huge customer base that's only growing with time.

"We're on campus all day and so we decided we wanted a change scenery and try and get some of the local food, and plus the nachos here are awesome," said Ashton Raines, a Troy University student.

It's not just restaurants seeing the difference. "It's so much better when school starts because people come for back-to-school clothes and jewelry, and just, to make their wardrobe a little bit better when the spring semester starts, and so I think it's definitely better when they get here," said Hannah Louise Dungan, who works at Pink Parlor, a clothing boutique.

Store managers say traffic will usually slow down in April when students leave for the summer, but the extra business now makes up for that.

"It's a roller coaster ride, but we're prepared, pretty much every restaurant in this area is prepared for the same thing, you just buckle down and enjoy the ride," said Vann.

The Pike County Chamber of Commerce will begin a student discount program with local businesses later this year to encourage even more students to shop locally.

 

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