Uptown business owners react to ECU’s reopening plan for fall

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GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – ECU students will return to campus in the fall, but there are changes coming to the college experience.

Monday, university officials unveiled guidelines called “Return of Pirate Nation”, detailing health and safety plans for the fall semester.

Business has been slow in uptown without students at ECU.

Owners agree it’s good news for everyone that students will return to campus in the fall.

Bret Oliverio owns Sup Dogs in uptown.

“For me, as a business where students frequent, I want nothing more than students to return safely back to campus,” said Oliverio.

He says this is a crazy time to own a business in a college town.

It takes more manpower to run a restaurant at limited capacity with social distancing guidelines.

Oliverio says this has caused revenues to decline.

“It takes a lot more resources and we spend more money staffing in these situations,” said Oliverio. “Having students back on campus will definitely help.”

Catalog Connection is another go-to uptown business for students.

Manager Maegan Houston says it was hard to reopen the shop during phase two.

“Typically, during the summer it is our slower season just because we’re right beside campus,” said Houston. “We do love our locals coming in during the summertime, but when students come back, our business picks up.”

No one knows exactly what the fall will bring, but owners hope that students being in town will be better for business.

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