Students and Effects on Local Business

By Christian Heilman

Published 08/22 2014 05:34PM

Updated 08/22 2014 05:42PM

ALTOONA, BLAIR COUNTY – Penn State students are moving onto campus all across the state -- including about 4,000 students right here in Altoona. So, how does it affect local business?
Paul Randazzo, a co-owner of Mama Randazzo’s, said, "We already went through more wings than we usually do that first day -- Thursday when they started moving in."
Students are spending money on more than just food and snacks to fill up on. They're also spending money on things like filling prescriptions -- all contributing to a boost in the local economy.
Melissa Beck, the manager at Thompson Pharmacy, said, "We had about a 10 percent increase yesterday and that will hopefully go on throughout the weeks and through the year."
Randazzo said, “Student wise we usually ballpark at about 30 percent increase which is obviously a large number.”
A large number the chamber of commerce says is typical for the area. They say restaurants around campus can usually see around 30 to 40 percent rise in business during the school year -- a welcome sign to any small business.
"We're not that far from them, so hopefully they come here instead of going to the bigger chains,” said Beck.
Randazzo said, "For the local community, I can't reiterate enough how important that extra revenue is especially in a city where we struggle to get a tax base and some extra money."
And the extra money can mean some extra hours for those businesses looking to cash in on students.

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