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Businesses prepare for busy weekend ahead after pandemic losses

Local businesses are starting to recover with the help of Razorback football games after suffering pandemic losses over the past year and a half.

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — Businesses in Fayetteville suffered during the pandemic. Without students and sports fans business was slow and owners lost money in the long run.

Sporting events in the city were heavily limited in order to align with COVID-19 safety guidelines. That means fewer customers patronizing stores and restaurants.

This season is a full turnaround from the past year. And businesses say the recent Razorback wins to make up for the lost dollars. A win for the team is a win for the community.

“Drag people off the street. They’re all excited about us winning here. It’s a win for all of us, not just the team. So we’re part of the team too I guess you could say,” Melissa Langley with Bugsy’s on Dickson said.

Over on Razorback Road, business at The Stadium Shoppe is booming and the owner, Robert Mann said it doesn’t seem to be letting up now that the season is heating up. While Mann still struggles with supply chain orders, in other areas business is booming. In the 5 years, the shop has been in business, he says this past weekend with the Razorbacks versus the Texas Longhorns was the busiest weekend, making twice the revenue than a normal week.

“Football hasn’t been what it should’ve been for many years because our team just wasn’t that good. The pandemic pretty much shut it down. I mean just absolutely shut down. So compared to pandemic years this is like Christmas every day,” Mann said.

Compared to last season, both Bugsy’s and The Stadium Shoppe are happy people are back and the Razorbacks are winning.

“Dickson street is still trying to thrive. There are places that still need business,” Langley added.

The kick-off for the Arkansas versus Georgia begins at 3 p.m. at Razorback stadium.

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