From Inc. This Morning, -Cameron Albert-Deitch, Reporter
Most summers, swarms of kids attending specialty camps and other programs at Northwestern University keep sales brisk at Campus Gear, a 28-year-old purveyor of purple-and-white apparel and souvenirs.
This year, with Covid-19 canceling all activities, business is off 90 percent at the store's main location in downtown Evanston, Illinois. The company’s two other locations, both near Ryan Field stadium, remain closed--and according to owner David Haghnaji, they might not reopen until at least March.
In college towns like Evanston, fall is normally a big season for small businesses as campuses roar back to life. Like many universities, Northwestern hasn’t yet set dates for resuming full campus operations. So the town’s businesses--and likely those in other college towns across the country--are expecting trouble. “We are going to limp along until the students are all back,” Roger Sosa, executive director of the Evanston Chamber of Commerce, tells Inc. “We rely too heavily on the student population for us to survive without them.”
But they’re not going down without a fight. Read our story to learn how one college town’s businesses plan to stay afloat without customers coming in through the doors.