Local Business Prepare for Summer as College Students Leave Capital City

Posted at 4:23 PM, May 02, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-02 14:41:18-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) - Over the next few weeks, thousands of college students will be heading out of the Capital City, leaving businesses with fewer customers.

It happens every summer, with students either graduating or wrapping up classes for the semester. But how do businesses here in town stay afloat when they're gone?

Right now, many are in the process of actually getting ready for the fall. WTXL visited Barefoot Campus Outfitters, one of the newer businesses in town. It opened just a few months ago in February.

Taking a look inside, the store is stocked with clothing and other items to draw in students and their families.

This is the week students graduate from Florida State and Barefoot is ready for its first summer here. The company has stores in other college towns so, it knows the deal and the manager says she doesn't expect business to slow down too much.

Barefoot says it generates business through its website and text program, too. The manager says the store has new products just about every day.

"There are a lot of people leaving, but FSU does have a lot of orientations coming up, so we're really involved with that," said Cassie Mayhew, retail manager at Barefoot Campus Outfitter. "We're just maybe trying to show the new Noles who we are and all the stuff that we have. We'll adjust to see how it's going to be business-wise, but I think that we're going to have a good year."

The hope is that students in summer classes and orientations will keep things active.

WTXL also talked to the Greater Tallahassee Chamber of Commerce to put this in perspective.

"If you think about an area like College Town, you've got some great companies down there," said Jay Revell. "Great places that you can go have a wonderful experience, and it also gives people who might be a few years removed from college the opportunity to go down there and experience some of those places when maybe the college crowd is a little lighter than it normally would be."

Revell says Tallahassee has seen tremendous growth in hospitality to encourage students to stay here for the summer.

He says there are probably more summer jobs available in town now than ever before. It's one more reason he believes businesses won't feel too much of a pinch when many students leave.