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DNC: Impact on North Carolina Business Owners

PHOTO: Cherie Richie of Dee Dee's Gourmet Cheese Straws of Charlotte. Photo by Stephanie Carson
PHOTO: Cherie Richie of Dee Dee's Gourmet Cheese Straws of Charlotte. Photo by Stephanie Carson
September 6, 2012

CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Charlotte is a-buzz today as the city prepares to welcome President Obama tonight to the Democratic National Convention (DNC), where he will accept his party's nomination for President. While the support of small business owners is divided between the parties, hundreds of them are in Charlotte this week trying to capitalize on the DNC crowds.

Cherie Richie is the co-owner of Dee Dee's Gourmet. She is marketing her brand of cheese straws, a southern favorite.

"We have had growth just selling here, but I think we're going to really see our maximum growth in the fact that people will go home and will order from us."

Prior to this week, the Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority estimated the DNC would generate more than $75 million in consumer spending.

This week's rainy weather that reportedly prompted the change in venue for Obama's acceptance speech is also making an impact on street vendors, but t-shirt designer Chance Dalrymple, Raleigh, is keeping a positive outlook.

"Everybody is here for a different reason, to get the word out, make a dollar or whatever. But if you are in it for both the reasons then you always win. It's always a win-win."

Sarah Bisintainer owns Poli-Baby, a product line of politically minded infant wear. She says so far she's only sold about $200 worth of her products, but anticipates growth from online sales as the election gets closer.

"It's actually been great for press. Getting a lot of press, reporters, exposure - that's where it's been good. Not so much in sales."

While street vendors are pleased with exposure, other businesses near the Time Warner Cable Arena report sales are down, thanks to closed streets and a disrupted customer base.

Stephanie Carroll Carson/Mary Anne Meyers, Public News Service - NC