MANCHESTER, N.H. (CBS) – If the New Hampshire primary is now the buzz of the state, local businesses hope it will also be a boon. New Hampshire prides itself on its status to help carve the political landscape every four years, and the spotlight brings a lot of people to the state from the campaigns to the media.
“It’s a slower time of year, so to see an increase will be helpful to everyone along Elm Street,” said Frank Gioffre, manager of the Portland Pie Company, formerly the site of the Merrimack Restaurant which was a must stop along the political campaign trail.
“Every candidate has stayed for lunch, we hope they come back through and recognize us and bring their people with them,” he said.
WBZ-TV’s Beth Germano reports
It’s already lights, cameras and plenty of cable at the Radisson Hotel in downtown Manchester which is ground zero for network coverage. “Organized chaos” is how marketing director Maurine Bowman describes the next several days.
“In New Hampshire there’s energy after Iowa with the first in the nation primary. The networks come out and the candidates want to be seen here,” she said.The hotel has been sold out since the last primary, and is already preparing for what’s to come in four more years.
At Queen City Cupcakes, which just opened last May, shopowner Chelsea Stoddard thinks the geography of her shop will work. “We’re in an amazing spot, a lot of candidates come next door (to Portland Pie Company) as well as to City Hall down the street. It’s a shot at meeting some pretty great people,” she said.
In the tradition of New Hampshire politics, the hope is the candidates will take a walk down Elm Street and walk right into their business.
“I think they should, get out there and be among the people,” said Kathy Hamel owner of Heart and Hand gift shop. She’s still undecided, but Manchester Mayor Ted Gatsas knows what it takes to win over the hearts of Granite State voters. “In New Hampshire they say you haven’t made a decision until you’ve met the candidate three times,” he said.
Frank Gioffre says he’s met as many as four and hopes more will come through the door this week. “We’re hoping for consistent, solid business through the week,” he said.