Illinois State University students leaving campus expected to impact local economics

Local News

NORMAL, Ill. (WMDB) — Restaurants and bars in Normal may now have another factor that could affect business.

Illinois State University announced Tuesday they will be transitioning to online classes through the rest of the semester, and all students that can go home to do so.

Many bars and restaurants in the area rely on the thousands of students to bring them business during the school year.

“We’re basically treating this as if we’re in the dead of the summer, so minimal staff trying to make sure everybody that’s comfortable working gets some hours,” says owner of Windy City Wieners, Steve Marifjeren.

The economic impact this will have on businesses is unknown right now, but Marifjeren says it could impact sales.

“It’s safe to assume that students are easily a third of our business just from delivery and late night. It’s just hard to gauge it, I’m probably estimating about 40% to 50% drop off right now, it could get way worse I don’t know,” said Marifjeren.

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