Colleges teaching online amid COVID-19 outbreak; nearby campus restaurants worry about impact

Pima Community College cancels class, teaches online

TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - Many colleges plan to teach classes online due to COVID-19 concerns. Students at the University of Arizona and Pima County Community College will learn online until April 6th.

Some shops and restaurants near the UA campus worry about lost business while students are gone.

The Dutch Eatery and Refuge Owner Natalie Van Winden said students make up nearly two-thirds of her customers and the spring is typically a booming time for business.

"These few months leading up to graduation are our busiest time usually," she said. "So to have that suddenly go away is a little nerve racking."

Van Winden immediately began running specials to get people in the door when she found out classes would be taught online for the next few weeks.

"Kind of some of the same things we do in the summer when the students are gone," she said. "Just to boost business."

She is doing her best to not let the unexpected situation trickle down to her staff.

"We just don't want to lay off any staff," Van Winden said. "We've got a great team here, and we want to make sure that they can still pay their rent and their mortgages."

In the meantime, she’s hopeful serving up lunch deals and promos will keep business up until the students return for in-person classes.

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