CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Despite President Donald Trump threatening to pull the Republican National Convention out of Charlotte, local businesses and government agencies are planning for the convention to still be in the Queen City this August.
Courtney Nesmith had to delay the opening of his NoDa restaurant, Roy's Kitchen and Patio, to June due to the pandemic, and he was looking to the RNC to make up for additional costs as a result of the coronavirus.
"What happens is some people that normally frequent [Uptown], they'll step out to a NoDa or a South End," Nesmith said. "We were really hoping that it does make it here, and it's a safe experience for all."
Middle C Jazz in Uptown is part of the RNC's "Sweet 16," a group of venues which convention organizers advertise as "preferred places" for attendees to rent for events.
Larry Farber, one of the club's owners, had to close the doors during the pandemic, but as they prepare to reopen, they're looking to the convention to make up for lost business.
"The RNC being here like any other convention is going to be a huge stimulus package for us," Farber said. "We were looking forward to being a part of it and having those folks here using our space."
CMPD Chief Kerr Putney said Wednesday morning the department's security planning with the Secret Service is ahead of schedule.
"We're taking a lot of precautions," Chief Putney said. "We're looking at the footprint. We're trying to solidify and have conversations with people who are going to be impacted in the Uptown region."
But as businesses and government agencies continue their planning, the war of words between both sides of the political aisle regarding the RNC remains ongoing.
Lieutenant Governor Dan Forest (R), who's hoping to unseat Governor Roy Cooper (D), released the following statement:
"If Governor Cooper wants the economic boom that a convention brings to a state, then he is responsible for putting together the rules to make that happen. With the governor's track record of changing the rules of the game, I agree with President Trump that assurances are needed from the Cooper administration within the week. His administration doesn't have a problem micromanaging the rest of our economy. So, when other states in our region are clamoring for the opportunity to host the RNC, Gov. Cooper is either not willing to lead or he doesn't want the convention in Charlotte."