For small business owners vending outside the Charlotte Convention Center, there are big paydays--and bigger opportunities.
The person profiting most from the Democratic National Convention might not be President Obama--or anyone actually affiliated with the Democratic Party.
That distinction might fall on Dan Huntley.
As the Associated Press reports, Huntley, owner of the “Dan The Pig Man” barbecue sandwich truck, is just one in a small batch of entrepreneurs finding a gold mine of business opportunity in the political event.
Huntley's already off to a good start: He told the AP he sold more than $10,000 worth of sandwiches in a single day--a record for his food truck, although just a small fraction of the $200 million that Charlotte's DNC visitors are expected to spend.
Securing a spot outside the convention centers is a political game of its own, the AP notes. Huntley told the AP that it took him 75 emails, phone calls, and meetings to earn his spot, in a coveted vendor lot set just outside of the Charlotte Convention Center.
Hopefully, the hard work will pay off not just this week but in the future. All screened and approved vendors have a better shot at getting business from future convention center events, Charlotte Chamber of Commerce spokesman Natalie Dick told the wire service.
The AP highlighted a couple of other entrepreneurs making the most of the convention--like Adrian Stone, owner of T-shirt company Route 74 Promotions, and Kendall Taylor, owner of Metro Transportation Services. Taylor’s company was selected as the official courier service of the entire convention; the entrepreneur now says he's thinking about expanding his business once the convention is over.
"You've got to be willing to do something you've never done before," Taylor told the AP. "We won the bid to be the courier, but we do whatever they need."