Small Businesses in Starkville Flourish on Game Days

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STARKVILLE, Miss. (WCBI)- The Mississippi State Women’s basketball team shot hoops at home Sunday night and with a big game comes big crowds.

Most small businesses struggle to compete with bigger corporate owned establishments, but it seems like college towns provide a healthier atmosphere– especially on game days.

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The Cotton District in Starkville can get pretty busy during this time.

“Game weekends bring a lot of outsiders, people in town, alumni, and then students alike,” said Starkvegas Snowballs owner Cori Cater.

“It’s amazing to see all the national people and people from other places that are really curious–they love the Cotton District. They love walking around and they’re real curious, so they love to come in and they all have questions,” said Sage Coffee and Books owner Lara Hammond.

Small business owners said a large portion of their business stems from the game day traffic.

“It’s huge for small business,” said Cater.

“They are looking for something to do in addition to the game– especially basketball. Basketball is really quick, so you make a long trip for a two-hour event, maybe. So it’s also like– what else is there to do in the area to enjoy since you’ve made the trip here?” said Hammond.

In fact, some local shops have changed their store hours to match the athletic schedules.

“It was either be closed on Monday or Sunday and it made more sense to be open on Sunday just because of that,” said Scooter’s Records owner Scott Thomas.

Cater said her business doesn’t have to spend money on advertisement because of game day fans from both the home and away teams.

“Our only advertisement has been through social media. Particularly with college students, they love to come in groups and it’s a great place, as you can see, a great place to hang out,” said Cater.

Shop owners agree that their businesses wouldn’t be the same without a little help from the area athletic programs.

“Because of the ballgames, I have developed a customer base from people out of town that if it wasn’t from them coming into town because of athletics they probably wouldn’t even know that I was here,” said Thomas.

Small Businesses have their own National Holiday that rolls around every November.

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