Oxford business owners aren’t concerned as Ole Miss students prepare to leave

OXFORD, Miss. — Final exams at Ole Miss are Tuesday.

Early testing aimed to limit the chance of students bringing COVID-19 back from Thanksgiving.

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The fact that classes don’t resume until mid-January could be cause for concern for businesses in Oxford.

But many business owners said they will continue to do well in spite of students having an extra long Christmas break.

Bar manager Peyton Attaway told us he is not concerned because there are still opportunities and money to be made.

Students may be leaving but archrival Mississippi State is coming to town.

“I think that the Egg Bowl is going to bring some money to Oxford and I think people will travel well for Mississippi State, and I think Oxford is going to have a good weekend,” Attaway said.

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According to the city, sales tax revenue remains good and the square has been three-fourths full with shoppers for the last several weekends. The effects that students leaving early will have is not known.

" I’d rather have them here but honestly I don’t know that the impact will be huge because typically their parents are the ones that are doing the shopping and the parents aren’t coming those two weeks because the kids are studying and taking exams here,” said Lane Wilson, General Manager manager with Nielsons in Oxford.

Attaway said the students leaving just means the bar and restaurant crowd changes.

“All the locals start coming out a little bit more. They know they can get in bars and it won’t be a younger crowd, it’s usually a pretty fun time in Oxford,” Attaway said.

Oxford leaders said they may see an impact in sales tax when things drop off after Christmas and students have yet to come back.