Many local businesses experienced a decrease in traffic when students left for the winter break last month.
With roughly 20,000 students heading home for the holidays, some businesses were left high and dry.
Kaya Coffee & Tea Co., 1029 S. University Ave., closed over break, knowing student traffic would be slow.
“There was definitely a drop (in business),” Barista Rachel Witly said. ”Kaya was actually closed from about Dec. 23 until just recently. I think Wednesday was our first day back open. Through Christmas and New Year’s, we’re not even open, just because we know that business will be so slow. Now that we’re back open, it’s been fairly steady, but still a bit slow.”
John Belco, manager at the Student Book Exchange, 209 E. Bellows, also saw a dip in business.
“Oh certainly, there’s been a definite drop off in traffic, but I don’t think it’s been any worse than past years,” he said.
SBX is tied up with getting textbook orders out to students, both at CMU and around the country.
“We’re actually so busy preparing for next semester that we have plenty to do now. I think there was a shorter time between commencement and the first day of classes this year, so it’s been challenging to get everything ready for that time,” Belco said.
The holiday season also affected business in other parts of the city.
“We’ve had a lot of great business through the Christmas season, but this week has been a bit slower, as we expected, with the holidays over and the students gone,” said Kati Mora, owner of the Plate Boutique, 120 E. Broadway. “It’s mostly business as usual now. We’ve only been open for about five months, so this is the first time we’re really experiencing a break like this.”
Mora said she is optimistic about 2013 and the upcoming semester.
“We’re taking this time to get geared up for January and the New Year’s resolution-themed classes and whatnot, so hopefully the students are ready and Mount Pleasant is ready, because we’ve got a lot of exciting things coming up,” she said.