As sporting events and move-in weekend are not set in stone in towns with colleges, those who own small companies question how their businesses will perform without events that typically fuel commerce. The COVID-19 health crisis has already made almost every college in the country get used to virtual learning earlier this year, CNBC reported.
Clemson, South Carolina swells in size fourfold to approximately 40,000 from 8,000 at the time students at Clemson University come back each autumn. The number of individuals in the municipality can grow to over 100,000 on days when football games are held.
Clemson Variety & Frame Owner Jason Beaty typically brings additional staffers on board to handle the rise in orders at his store, which is located near the campus of Clemson.
Beaty usually seeks $100,000 worth of merchandise to sell to arrive in August. At that time, students gradually start to come back from their summers. But Beaty doesn’t have orders made this year. He said, “My strategy is lock my wallet up and week-to-week, if I need to order it, I’ll order it.”
“I’m not forecasting into anything because there’s just too many variables out there to try and even come up with a number to order,” he added. Clemson, for its part, intends to have students return to campus and have roughly three-quarters of classes with some teaching face-to-face at a minimum. The future of athletics in the autumn, however, remains in flux.
As previously reported, downtowns from California to Maine are contending with different degrees of existential and economic suffering because of the pandemic, but the pain hasn’t been as severe as that felt in college towns.
Cities such as Davis, California; Ann Arbor, Michigan; and Ithaca, New York have had to contend with a pandemic that has impacted its hometown population and a student population that has left the municipality — without a return date in place in some instances.