Sheila Glanville-Conlee, owner and curator of Amoré Antiques on Union Ave., says a Secret Service agent came into her store Thursday morning and told her she had to close her business on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. for security reasons.
The Obama event is not scheduled to begin until 3 p.m. at the intersection of South Union Avenue and D Street. The Obama camp announced the visit on Wednesday but did not release details until the next day.
Glanville-Conlee questioned why Obama couldn’t hold the event somewhere else and feels that her rights as a business owner have been trampled.
“I’m Sheila the shop owner and I’m insulted that my constitutional rights have been violated,” Glanville-Conlee said, playing on the “Joe the Plumber” controversy that swirled earlier this month. In that case, Obama told an Ohio man named Joe that he believed it would be good to spread the wealth.
Glanville-Conlee also added that she thinks the Obama campaign could afford to book one of several events centers in the Pueblo area, including the Pueblo Convention Center or the Colorado State Fair Events Center, to hold his campaign event.
“He’s got millions and millions and for him to make us close our stores and lose our wages for a day, I mean I wouldn’t give him a dime,” Glanville-Conlee.
Glanville-Conlee, a registered Democrat, said she originally intended to vote for Sen. Hillary Clinton but felt the Democrat Party betrayed her when it nominated Obama. Now she says there is no doubt in her mind that she is a “Pueblo Democrat voting for McCain.”
Just down the street, the owners of Studio 127 Salon and Day Spa say are also seeing their business disrupted. While they have not been asked to shut down their business, they plan to close for the day after all clients canceled in anticipation of the large gathering.
Terre Heath, co-owner of the salon, said the closure is costing her ten employees on average $200 a piece, depending on how many clients each had booked for Saturday. She said they lost 30 clients on what is typically their busiest day of the week.
“We rely on the loyalty of our customers,” said Heath. “I didn’t care to make a $400 donation, but now I’ve just been forced to.”