Student spending helps drive neighboring businesses

Student spending helps drive neighboring businesses

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Rowan Boulevard is open for business
Rowan Boulevard is open for business

Rowan’s steep increase in enrollment the past six years has resulted in a huge burst in local spending power, an economic force the University has helped harness by connecting students with merchants via the RowanCard and two complimentary programs.

In 2017, students spent more than $5 million locally via the Rowan Bucks and Dining Dollars programs and spent an additional $1 million this January alone. This is in addition to student cash outlays and credit card purchases and spending by family and friends.

Over the past year, the top establishments frequented by Rowan students were:

  1. Zallies ShopRite
  2. 7-Eleven
  3. K-Mart
  4. Samurai Hibachi Steak House
  5. Chickie's & Pete's
  6. Highway Mart (Sunoco Gas Station & Market on Route 322)
  7. Landmark Americana
  8. Domino's
  9. Pizza Hut
  10. Bagel Express Mini Mart
  11. McDonald's
  12. Wendy's
  13. Dunkin Donuts
  14. Taco Bell
  15. PB's Restaurant

While figures from Rowan’s Division of Finance indicate that much of the RowanCard spending benefitted businesses on and around the Glassboro campus, it also supported businesses in surrounding communities and in Camden and Stratford.

“Business is growing each year,” said Crystal Kennedy, owner/manager of Extravagant Barber Shop, 640 Delsea Drive.

Located in a shopping plaza near Sears Hardware and Samurai Hibachi Steak House, Kennedy said her business’s growth since opening nearly four years ago undoubtedly includes acceptance of the RowanCard for transactions.

“The students all have it and it makes it doing business more convenient,” she said.

A 2015 study Rowan commissioned found that the University has an annual economic impact of more than $108 million in Glassboro and a statewide impact of more than $1.2 billion per year.

Rowan President Ali Houshmand, whose four-pillar approach to growing the University includes promoting its role as an economic engine, said it is crucial that Rowan students, faculty and staff support neighboring businesses.

“There’s been tremendous change the past five years,” Houshmand noted. “With the construction of Rowan Boulevard and other development in town it’s nice to see students out and about, spending money and enjoying themselves. Our goal is to make Glassboro a home away from home for students and it feels great to see that happening.”