Aug 20, 2014 7:28 PM by Jason Atcho
Classes at Chico State start this Monday and many students are moving back to town. With the increase in population comes an increase in sales and revenue. "When the students come back, we're looking at hotel stays for parents moving their kids back in, retail, and restaurants. Those kind of industries often times report higher sales when the students come back," said Katie Simmons, President and CEO of the Chico Chamber of Commerce. Once they move in, students hit the stores looking for clothing, supplies, furniture, and other essentials. "Each student represents about a $40,000 economic impact in Chico every year, so if you multiply that by the number of students obviously there's a tremendous economic impact to having students here."
Dax Downey, owner of Greenline Cycles in downtown Chico says this is one of the busiest times of the year. "A lot more bicycle sales and accessory sales. If somebody's getting a bike repaired they'll usually buy a lock, light, and helmet. Some of things to go along with helping keep the student safe."
Nick Andrews, owner of both Franky's and Riley's says July is the slowest month with locals going on vacation and the students being gone. However, once school starts there's about a 40% increase in business. "We gear up. We get ready. We hire a lot of new people because we kind of go on a skeleton crew during the summer."
Students are a crucial part of the Chico economy, but they're seen as more than just a dollar sign. "I think the university is essential to the quality and character of Chico. The students add a nice dynamic to the area close to campus and to the community as a whole. It's a win win for everybody," explained Simmons.
The chamber of commerce says it's not only downtown businesses who benefit from the students returning to Chico State. Businesses at the Chico Mall are also seeing a boost in sales as well.
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