The ongoing saga of the Republican Party's attempt to hold a convention in August to choose Donald Trump as their presidential nominee is leaving small business owners in spurned Charlotte, North Carolina and Jacksonville, Florida frustrated and angry over lost income at a time when the economy is reeling.
According to a report from the Daily Beast, business owners in Charlotte are angry that the president abruptly pulled the convention from their city over concerns he couldn't put on the big production he craves due to the COVID-19 pandemic and Jacksonville business owners are unsure whether the convention that was moved to their city will pay off now that the GOP is dialing it back over the same health crisis concerns.
As the Beast's Hunter Woodall reports, "Trump’s now-abandoned push to hold a major RNC convention during the coronavirus pandemic has turned what is normally a historic commemoration of political triumph into one that has become mired in backlash and criticism in two key swing states. Small businesses that had been selected as vendors for either city’s convention had found themselves in the tense position of having to decide between financial gains and health concerns. Now they find themselves gaining nothing at all for their troubles."
Case in point, Larry Farber owner of Middle C Jazz, whose business was slated to be an official convention venue location.
"It was a gut punch to all of us that it left, just from an economic standpoint,” said Farber explained. “And now when you see that it was moved to Florida and it’s not going to happen there, as a business owner you of course look back in hindsight and go it’s a shame it didn’t work out for Charlotte, it’s a shame that the RNC couldn’t have come to an agreement with our state and our governor to make it work.”
Andy Thompson, the president of Charlotte’s Rose Chauffeured Transportation, is still fuming at the president over the quick trigger to up and move the convention to Florida.
Originally calling trump's threat to move the convention a "short-sighted, short notice, bully tactic” Thompson isn't any happier today with the president.
“He’s not thinking about us,” explained Thompson. “He’s just thinking about himself.”
According to the report, the failure to launch a well-attended convention after months of planning may hurt Trump -- and Republicans -- at the polls in November.
"In Florida, Bonnie Arnold, the owner of Bonnie’s Floral Designs, said she felt Trump would face backlash for how he’d managed the festivities. Her business had been selected as a local vendor," Woodall wrote.
“I think it will hurt him politically,” Arnold said when asked about the president. “(He) did that decision in Charlotte rather quickly… and then to turn around and even in a shorter period of time repeat that, I don’t think builds confidence in his re-election.”
You can read more here.