Flint businesses brace for losses with remote learning at U of M-Flint in the fall

Published: Jun. 23, 2020 at 6:10 PM EDT
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(6/23/2020) - B-Dogs hot dog stand was busy in the Flint Farmers Market on Tuesday afternoon -- a good sign after the past few months.

A big part of their customer base includes University of Michigan-Flint students.

"We were seeing 25 to 30 students or more here a day here," said B-Dogs owner Tim Bishop.

But a return to those numbers is not likely to happen anytime soon, now that University of Michigan-Flint has announced that the majority of classes will be taught remotely for the upcoming fall semester.

"So it will be a little different without them. However, some of them still come down here for lunch. They may have business at the college. They may not, they'll still come down and grab some lunch, we've been affordable for them. So we'll see what happens," Bishop said.

Ian Diem, owner of the Chubby Duck, is not as optimistic.

"The students make up 85% of business, to put things into perspective," he said.

Diem said his business has taken two hits already, losing students last semester as well as the catering part of his business due to the coronavirus pandemic.

"Can you see the tears welling up in my eyes? It's not going to be good for us at all," Diem said.

Both business owners said they will do their best to ride out the storm, making adjustments along the way.

"It will definitely be a hit to the business, but you know we'll do like we did when we closed the doors, we'll figure something out," Bishop said,