Business react to news CIAA may leave Charlotte - WBTV 3 News, Weather, Sports, and Traffic for Charlotte, NC

Business react to news CIAA may leave Charlotte

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This is the last contractual year the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA) will be in Charlotte.

Last year, the tournament pumped about $47 million into local economy. City officials say they are working hard to keep the CIAA in the Queen City.

CIAA leaders say so far about 10 cities are interested in hosting the popular and profitable tournament.

Businesses and vendors set up their merchandise for the week long tournament to make a profit.

"It's just like Christmas all over again," Diane's Homemade Funnel Cake owner Diane Tillman said. "We depend on this income to take us to the summer months."

With the thought of the tournament leaving Charlotte, what will that mean for the businesses who rely on this tournament to keep them in business?

"It would be hard on me," Tillman said. "Because I really depend on this income."

Other businesses say if the CIAA returns, they would like prices to be lowered.

"Hotel, parking, license fees that they charge vendors." Sultry Touch Owner Thomas Jackson said.

Jackson says when he first came to Charlotte for the CIAA, he paid $100 for a business license. This year he says that fee doubled.

"To get a license to operate here - it's 200 bucks," Jackson said. "That's expensive - more than major cities. There it's between 10 and 50 bucks at the most. Charlotte wants 200 bucks."

While CIAA doesn't know where the next tournament will be, business owners say they need to know soon so they can make a decision about participating in the CIAA.

"We have expenses," Jackson said. "We operate on a budget as a business so we have to have a profit margin

Other businesses like the tournament in Charlotte and believe going to another city could hurt their bottom line. They say Charlotte is a good location and they claim they feel safer in Charlotte than other potential CIAA host cities.

"I feel more comfortable here in Charlotte," Large Brothers Caterer owner Thomas Jackson said. "As opposed to coming to the big city. The element is a little different. Parking you got to worry about -your truck. More security a little bit more. In charlotte it's a little laid back."

No word yet when the CIAA will decide what city to go to next.

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