As Penn State students return, the local business community fights to survive

“College towns … like State College, a lot of their economy runs on restaurants and stores and tanning salons that are frequented by students, and those are taking a huge hit,” said Charles Ballard, an economics professor at Michigan State University, where its host community, East Lansing, also has been affected. “They run on football and basketball, and those are taking a huge hit. You put all that together, and it’s an ugly picture for communities like this.”

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