Slow Business On The Corner

By: Summer Knowles
By: Summer Knowles

December 27, 2005

UVA students are out on holiday break and local businesses are feeling the brunt of it. Most students won't be back until after the new year, which means that businesses on the Corner will either close for the holidays, or stay open and tough it out.

Lots of students, lots of noise and lots of traffic is what you'd normally see on the Corner. But with students still on holiday break, it's a much different place.

"It's a lot quieter, there's usually a lot of people around and you can't really get into stores that easily," said Rhiannon Faulkner.

"It's very, very quiet. It's pretty much it's a ghost town around the corner when the students leave," said Chaney Kent, the owner of the Corner Market.

Some local residents say the holidays are the best time to visit the Corner.

"You don't have to worry about getting through all of the crowds and parking, and it's a lot easier," said Faulkner.

But for businesses it's a different story, a lot of them opting to close.
Only a few have stayed open.

"Normally it is a lot busier, when the students are out of town we definitely lose some business," said Bodos Bagels Manager Crystal Bowles.

Bowles said students account for at least half of their customers, so when they're on break her store changes its staffing and limits it's hours.

"It's different from our other stores that aren't on the corner, their not nearly as affected with the students being gone," said Bowles."Our business [is] much more marginal when the students are out of town."

Chaney Kent began working at the Corner Market when he was a UVA student.

Roughly 20 years later he now owns the store and says he's learned to order less and put in more hours himself when students are away.

But all in all he says he doesn't mind too much.

"I don't make as much money, but it gives me a bit of a break. It lets me do little projects around the store, clean the place up a little bit."

Bodos, the Corner Market, Starbucks and Jaberwocky are some of the businesses that have opted to stay open, but if you are looking to visit your favorite food or clothing shops before the new year, you should call before making that drive.

Business on the Corner is expected to pick back up in early January once students make it back from their holiday break.

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