The upcoming Republican National Convention was supposed to be an economic boon to the caterers and restaurants of Cleveland, Ohio, with dining rooms and event spaces booked up many months in advance. But now that the big event is drawing near, the reality is turning out to be a lot less rosy.
The Cleveland Scene reports that budgets and guest counts for convention-related gatherings have dropped significantly, as major companies including Wells Fargo, UPS, Motorola and Ford have backed out of the event.
The article quotes one business owner who is anticipating an 80 percent decline in expected business: “We had estimates as high as $40,000 for the event, which is significant for us. To have that figure dropped down to $1,500 is disheartening.”
At least one caterer is not afraid to assign blame, pointing to the polarizing name atop the GOP ticket: Donald Trump. “I think what happened here is a lot of the companies that come to conventions are publicly traded companies, and they may or may not be in love with the presumptive nominee, and they may not want the public to know they are supporting him, so they scale back or don’t show up at all,” caterer Scott Kuhn tells the paper.
While the news is obviously not great for Cleveland’s food scene, it doesn’t say much for Trump’s pro-business platform, either.