Eastern students affect profits of local businesses

Blake Warman, City Editor

With the return of Eastern students, the city of Charleston goes through a system of changes. One of these substantial changes is the increase in town population.

With this increase, local businesses gain more customers than over the summer.

Many businesses feel this increase in customers and overall business instantly.

Local florist shops such as Noble Flower Shop and Lawyer and Ritchie: Florist and Gifts feel this drastic change economically. Kayla Baker, a florist for Noble Flower Shop, said business in the summer is generally slow.

This business standstill eventually changes for both flower shops.

Each business has provided Eastern students with flower arrangements resulting in a substantial sales increase.

Businesses such as Jackson Avenue Coffee, South Side Café and Fetchers receive an increase in customers over a course of time. Dano Reible, owner of the JAC, said he receives about a 30 percent increase in customers.

This increase, however, usually comes at a slow pace, sometimes over the course of one to two months.

Reible said the reason for this is because many students, especially freshmen, do not know of businesses that are downtown.

Other businesses, however, do not receive the same activity because of location.

Fetchers and South Side Café are affected by the lack of knowledge of the downtown area.

Mike Corray, owner of the pet store Fetchers, said he also receives an increase of business, but generally his business is with regulars or locals.

Trisha Craig, employee of the South Side Café, said like the JAC and many businesses on the square, they do not see a sudden increase of customers.

While some places see an increase in customers, others do not.

Businesses such as Midgard Comics and Wb’s Pub and Grub do not receive any increase in sales, whether it is summer or fall semester.

Sarah McCreedy, an employee of Wb’s, said the pub does not see an increase in fall because more locals attend than students.

“We don’t see many students at Wb’s, but we do see some professors attend the bar, most likely for the reason that there’s a lack of student attendance at Wb’s,” McCreedy said.

McCreedy said business at Wb’s usually appeals only to locals and regulars.

Local comic book storeowner, Sandy Waters, said her business is generally the same continuously throughout the year. Waters said business generally appeals to regulars and sometimes walk-ins.

Corray said many businesses are on the Square, and he strongly encourages students to check out the area and many of the local businesses in town.

Blake Warman can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected].