TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV) — Indiana State University’s homecoming festivities are a special time for students and alumni, but also for small businesses in the area.
ISU homecoming weekend is one of the busiest weekends in Terre Haute, and the influx of visitors means much more profit for small business owners.
Rick Burchell, owner of Rick’s Smokehouse and Grill, said that his business experienced a big boost in sales.
“Having ISU’s homecoming here locally is an uptick in sales,” Burchell said. “There’s just more people in town and when more people are here in Terre Haute, small businesses do better.”
Burchell is a Terre Haute native and understands just how special homecoming weekend is for the community. With COVID-19 affecting all aspects of life over the past 18 months, he said that he’s happy see some old faces.
“Within the last few months, being able to see people’s smiling faces and see them out enjoying the company of each other is a great feeling,” Burchell said.
The 365 Bar & Grill in Terre Haute also prospered during ISU homecoming festivities. The restaurants Co-Owner, Kacy Rogers, said that she was pleased to have so much foot traffic moving throughout the business.
‘We were happy with the traffic that we had through here,” Rogers said. “Everybody that was here was excited to be here and was excited about homecoming.”
Rogers, like many other small business owners, felt the effects of the pandemic. She said that events like homecoming are much needed from a financial aspect.
“As a small business owner, it’s been difficult,” Rogers stated. “Events like that we’re able to bring so much outside traffic and people which is so important.”