Students Moving Back to Columbia Bring Influx in Business

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COLUMBIA - Thousands of college students are beginning to move into apartments and campus residential halls, bringing more foot traffic to local businesses.

"There's definitely been a surge of students that have been coming in, and there's definitely a lot more energy in Columbia now," said Kerry Chao, the owner of Yogoluv.

This is in contrast to the slower summer season many downtown businesses have.

"It's not as busy, I wouldn't say that is was really slow," said Chao. "It's probably about a, I would say, 20 percent drop."

Some stores prepare ahead of time for the rush of students.

"I have noticed that our other manager has been scheduling a lot more people to be on the floor," said Alex Moore, the assistant manager of Britches.

"We hire people around this time of year," said Elizabeth Nicodemus, the sales supervisor of Tiger Spirit.

Many downtown businesses said they see a large increase in foot traffic during the weeks right before school starts, but once students settle in and their families leave, business goes back to normal.