Football's start means big bucks for small businesses

      MOUNT PLEASANT, S.C. (WCIV) -- The Gamecocks' season started with a big loss, but local businesses didn't take a hit. Fans showed up in droves at the usual places.

      Well after the game ended, the party continued at Wild Wings in Mount Pleasant. Fans started showing up around 4 p.m. to cheer on the Gamecocks and the start of the college football season.

      Games days mean big bucks for businesses.

      Palmetto Moon shopper Cheryl Finley was on the hunt Thursday afternoon for the perfect piece of Carolina merchandise to add to her collection.

      "We have Carolina everything, pajamas, T-shirts, camo. My grandchildren have blankets and bedspreads and everything else. Pretty much die-hard," she said.

      The enthusiastic shopper found her treasure at the bottom of a basket: two Carolina flags she can put on her car. A victory chant echoing Carolina's fight sing and a dance was in order.

      "Go Gamecocks!" she said.

      Store manager Jenny Simmons says the football season brings out not only the best in people, but their wallets.

      "Business has been picking up the past couple weeks. Everyone is super excited for tonight. We have lots of new merchandise coming in. We have T-shirts , pop-up tents, Koozies, anything you can possible want," she said.

      Retailers aren't the only ones seeing more green. Local bars and restaurants are also cashing in.

      "We definitely see larger crowds for a Carolina game, Clemson game. Football season is definitely good to us here at the Wing," said Jeff Condon.

      And that's something worth a song a dance all the way to the bank. For Wild Wings, the start of football marks the beginning of their busiest time of year.