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Convention can be profitable for small businesses

Associated Press Modified: September 6, 2012 at 3:03 am •  Published: September 6, 2012

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — For entrepreneurs outside the Democratic National Convention, the easy part may be the hours of smoking meat, screen-printing T-shirts or pumping out pedicab rides.

Those small business owners have needed a balance of patience and scrappiness to negotiate a series of physical and bureaucratic barriers for a share of the $200 million visitors are expected to spend this week in Charlotte.

Dan Huntley, who sold barbecue out of his "Dan the Pig Man" food truck, said Monday was his best day ever when he set up at a street festival that preceded the convention. He's also selling barbecue in a special convention zone in the city's central business district.

Huntley had to go through a long and involved selection process with convention organizers.