Glenville State College is often called ‘the lighthouse on the hill.’ The lighthouse is not only a beacon of education, but also shines dollars into the local economy. Not only is the college a partner in the community but also an extension to the businesses within the area. Many small businesses prosper with a customer base made up of students and faculty. What happens to these businesses when the spring session ends and students go back home for the summer?
Many businesses do feel the recession, and the owners must cope with it for the three months that school is out of session. However, most businesses have a large local customer base and that keeps them up and running during the summer. Janice Shields-Wilson, proprietor of Four Seasons Tanning & Beauty said, “About fifty percent of my business is made up of faculty, staff, and students from the college. It does affect my business a little bit, but in the summer time, I have more locals coming in to tan to make up for it.” The Dollar General also receives a dent in sales during the summer months. Robin Young, manager of the Glenville location, stated, “Absolutely – sales drop when school lets out.” She also added, “Our sales always pick back up in August when the school year starts. We have a lot of students buying things for their dorms.”
Many of the businesses in town miss the GSC faculty and staff when they are out of town. Shields-Wilson added, “I enjoy the students. They are a large part of my business. I do miss them, and I am glad to see them come back.” Shields-Wilson usually places welcome messages to returning students on the sign in front of her salon, which is located on Route 33, to welcome returning students or to congratulate graduates. The businesses in Glenville and throughout Gilmer County will not have to wait much longer for the students to return. Fall semester classes begin August 18th.