Who’s to blame for the damage done to North Carolina’s small businesses during this year’s pandemic-induced recession?
In a Republican-sponsored roundtable Tuesday, a handful of small business owners in Charlotte pointed a finger at Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper.
And in a virtual roundtable, Democrats and other business owners blamed President Donald Trump.
The dueling events came amid a general election campaign when both men face tough re-election campaigns. And they spotlighted the problems that small businesses face five months into the lockdowns and other restrictions triggered by the coronavirus pandemic.
Through Aug. 9, revenue for Mecklenburg County’s small businesses had fallen nearly 26% this year, according to the Opportunity Insights Economic Tracker. Statewide it was down more than 12%.
“We’re losing the small-business character of Charlotte,” said restaurant owner Anthony Kearey.
Kearey joined state GOP Chair Michael Whatley, hotel owner Vinay Patel, small business owner Sonja Nichols, a candidate for