Auburn businesses prepare for students’ return

Auburn University weighs plan to bring students back this fall

AUBURN, Ala. (WSFA) - Auburn University officials are making plans for students to return for the fall semester, and so are area businesses.

Students have been taking classes online since spring break, but now Auburn officials say that they’re considering options for students to return with a modified semester.

AU released this statement:

“As Auburn prepares to implement a variety of instructional delivery methods for the second summer mini-term, including on-campus instruction, the university is also examining potential fall academic plans that assess various options. Amid the uncertainty of the ongoing pandemic, these options include the possibility of a modified academic calendar that would not require students to return to campus after the Thanksgiving break. As final details are made, they will be released to keep the Auburn Family fully informed.”

Local business owners say that having students back on campus for the fall semester is critical for their bottom line.

“Happy to hear that news about the students coming back and campus opening back up,” said J&M Bookstore owner Trey Johnston. “It makes a difference in this business, and all the businesses in downtown Auburn. Its very significant to have the students here to participate in the economic cycle.”

“Most of our business comes from college students, especially in the fall,” said Elisabet Boutique sales associate Emily Colley.

The student population has been down since March, and businesses are more than ready for them to return.

“Students being gone definitely decreased our sales,” Colley said, “but we’re really looking forward to students being back in town so they can start shopping with us again.”

“It means the world that people want to come to my shop, particularly my family’s shop, to get their souvenirs,” Johnson added. “They feel like they’re buying it from an Auburn person, an alumni, and someone that’s participated in Auburn all their life. We enjoy the people that come to tour Auburn, the students. We try to be great ambassadors for Auburn.”

Colley and Johnston say that football season also significantly impacts the revenue generated by downtown businesses.

We’ll update you as Auburn University releases more details.

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