SCAD’s move to online schooling holds uncertain future for local businesses

SCAD’s move to online schooling holds uncertain future for local businesses

SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) -The Savannah College of Art and Design says most classes will be done online for the upcoming fall semester.

Neighborhood Comics has been open just over a year now. They say their relationship with the school and its students was a big part of their success this year. When they heard college classes would mostly be online for the fall, they were disappointed but also understand the decision.

Owner of Neighborhood Comics Lee Heidel says they’re located near SCAD to be accessible and available to students. He says those students are a big part of Neighborhood Comics’ success.

“Being able to experience foot traffic, students on their way to and from classes, just that different attitude that you have pre-pandemic when you can just feel more comfortable being out and about and going in and visiting stores and visiting your neighborhood, we’re going to miss that this fall greatly,” said Heidel.

Heidel says the store hosts art shows, lectures, and more.

He says SCAD students are a big part of these events.

“Being able to experience foot traffic, students on their way to and from classes, Just that different attitude that you have pre-pandemic when you can just feel more comfortable being out and about and going in and visiting stores and visiting your neighborhood, we’re going to miss that this fall greatly.”

The school announced this Friday that Fall 2020 courses previously scheduled for on-ground instruction will be delivered virtually for SCAD students.

“It didn’t come as a surprise that SCAD was not going to open in the fall fully,” he says. “But It was definitely not the best-case scenario.”

Like other businesses, the pandemic has caused them to change the way they normally do business. But Heidel says it’s also opened them up to people all over the world.

“We are doing everything from posting funny game shows on Facebook to having creator interviews online. In providing a way for people to still connect with us, so you still have that personal one on one service,” Heidel says. “And to feel like you have a relationship with your local shop even if it’s not always going to be in person or in a big group.”

He says they’ll continue what they’ve done since March.

“We have a lot of ideas, we know what kind of has worked for the last few months,” he said. “We know what has not. And so the idea is to just to just dig our heels in and try to ride this out with everybody else so that when it’s over we can be full steam ahead and be right back to where we want to be.”

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