Students have impact on local businesses - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Students have impact on local businesses

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August 14, 2006

Albany -- Around 4-thousand students will start classes at Albany State University tommorow. Those students, their professors, and other employees of the university contribute a lot to our economy.

It's 18-year-old Jamal Tillman's first time in Albany. He starts class at ASU this week, and for this music lover the Odyssey Records store is a dream.

"I think it's pretty cool. The record stores where I'm from they don't have this much stuff they have here," said Jamal Tillman.

Tillman is just one of the thousands of students who come to Albany for college, and he represents the big change students bring to the city.

At ASU officials say that the school had more than a 140-million dollar impact on City of Albany last fiscal year. And that economic impact is one that's growing.

As enrollment at the university increases, so does money spent in the city. According to the University System of Georgia, spending at Albany businesses was up 18-percent last year from the previous.

"They love our Shabazz punch which we make everyday fresh, our homemade punch," said Gordon Hall.

Shabazz Fish and Chicken owner Gordon Hall says he serves up the punch and other snacks to college students who have those late night cravings.

"Generally around 8:30 students have that last minute appetite, so around 8:30 they'll come up for something to eat," said Gordon Hall.

So as businesses owners provide students like Jamal Tillman with what they need, the businesses reap benefits as well.

"Do you think you're going to be back throughout the year? Oh yea, oh yea. I love listening to CDs. I'm going to be back, for sure," said Jamal Tillman.

That partnership keeps both in business.

The economic impact study also found that ASU creates more than 16-hundred jobs in Albany, most of them off campus.

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