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Iowa City Businesses Benefit From Students

IOWA CITY (CBS 2/FOX 28)--Classes at the University of Iowa begin in less than a week.

Students are already moving into the dorms and getting ready for the semester, but they're buying more than just books and pencils.

Mary Kay jones says the day she's been waiting all summer long for is almost here.

"Our target population is actually the students so we're aiming for that price range so we had a big drop when summer came, said the downtown business owner.

That's because many businesses here depend on the student to make them profitable.

That's why jones has been waiting for all summer for next week's start of the UI fall semester.

According to the university, 29,000 students, their family, friends, plus UI sports fans spend more than 200 million in Iowa City's economy.

"Most people here don't have a car and so your only option is to walk downtown and eat here and get clothes here, said recent graduate, Cayla Schwartz, and others agree.

"I feel like there are lots of businesses here that really profit off of being close to the close. I also think students find it very convenient to come down here, said UI senior Fern Kohl.

That's why some business owners, say the student population breathes life back into the area every fall.

"More business, more excitement, more enthusiasm. I enjoy the youth culture that comes with it, said record collection owner, Kirk Walther.

To put it all into perspective, one recent graduate said she spent up to the thousands just from hanging out in the downtown area.

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