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Students give boost to businesses

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Sophomores Trevor Blaylock and Alex Collins enjoy dinner with a friend at Campus Pollyeye’s.

When students flood into the city and onto campus, so do their wallets.

Businesses all around the city are feeling the economic impact students made opening weekend.

Issa Baiz, manager of Falcon Food Mart located on South Main Street, said business has picked up by 20 percent.

“We get a lot more rushes and student body coming in, but the impact is most in delivery,” he said.

Baiz said while students buy a little bit of everything, alcohol is one of the biggest sellers.

Baiz estimates business will remain steady throughout the year, but traffic at the three-year-old Falcon Food Mart fluctuates.

Campus Pollyeyes has also seen an increase since students returned.

“Business has picked up a great deal, especially move-in weekend — we got nailed, it was great,” said manager Dean Smith.

While move-in weekend is a busy time for Campus Pollyeyes, Smith said homecoming is their busiest.

“We’ve got a good fan base,” he said. “Students impact business a great deal and we are currently looking for waiters.”

Business has increased so much for The Cookie Jar, located further down the road on East Court Street, that it had to open on Tuesdays, said co-owner Maureen Lanigin.

For the five years The Cookie Jar has been in business, it has been closed Mondays and Tuesdays.

“There were a lot of people that first Tuesday … and we should remain steady until spring,” Lanigin said.

For Finders Records, located on North Main Street, business has been good in the weeks leading up to move-in weekend, said manager Laura Fredericks.

“We’re getting a lot of foot traffic and a lot of phone calls,” she said.

A lot of business has come from freshmen and their families walking around town and coming in after they are all moved in, Frederick said.

“Business is a lot of word-of-mouth for us,” she said.

Local restaurants and shops aren’t the only businesses students are helping. Local farmers have benefited as well.

Jerry Van Houtte, owner of Gradenview Flowers in Grand Rapids, Ohio, sets up shop in the farmer’s market each Wednesday on the corner of South Main and Clough streets. He said business does pick up when the students return.

When the college students come back, more people come along with our loyal customers, and everything is good, he said.

Van Houtte said even last week was busy when parents were helping students move in and later visited downtown and the market.

Barbara Ruland, director of Downtown Bowling Green said students give a lot to the town.

“We really appreciate the economic input students make,” Ruland said. “They are a large part of our lives … and they breath fresh air into the atmosphere.”

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