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Bloomington businesses prepare for influx of IU students as fall semester begins

Indiana University
Posted at 6:49 AM, Aug 21, 2023
and last updated 2023-08-21 12:03:33-04

BLOOMINGTON — For many college towns, things are quiet in the summertime.

That’s what business owners in downtown Bloomington tell WRTV, as they wait for the return of tens of thousands of Indiana University students come fall semester.

Classes begin Monday.

It’s a big boost for the economy — for some local shops, profits even double.

“There’s an influx of college kids. A lot of people come downtown specifically and we have a cafe. We have a really good college vibe here. We encompass a lot of communities," BLU Boy Chocolate Cafe and Cakery Owner Bon Flores said.

BLU Boy specializes in handmade, from-scratch chocolates, pastries, ice cream and espresso drinks.

Flores recently took over the business and says the past few weeks have been a big transitional period for the cafe.

“We are getting everyone into our new system. That’ll help us operate more smoothly so our baristas behind the counter can just execute a little bit better," Flores said.

Flores says he’s excited to see students pop in before heading to class for their caffeine or sugar fix.

“We have a good, loyal costumer base of like people that have been coming here for years," he said.

Down the road, Koby Byers is a cannabis consultant at Hope’s Dispensary.

“We sell CBD, Delta 8, things of that nature," Byers said.

Byers says it’s a mix of people using the hemp-derived products for medical and recreational use.

In the summer, the shop normally gets a couple of people trickling in every hour.

“Sometimes you’ll get spurts where like four or five people show up at the same time, but it’s pretty steady," Byers said.

The past couple of week’s Hope’s has been gearing up for the start of the fall semester — making sure they’re stocked and properly staffed.

“When it picks up like this, like I said, people get overwhelmed. So, you know, if somebody leaves or can’t come to work because they’ve been working so much, we need people to fill, that are comfortable working these other positions as well," Byers said.