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RNC Host Committee names hundreds of First Coast businesses as event vendors for August convention

Connie Estey's floral company saw a 99% drop in orders during the pandemic. Like many owners, she hopes being a vendor at the RNC will recoup some of those losses.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Hundreds of local businesses have been tapped by the RNC Host Committee to be vendors at the August convention in downtown Jacksonville.

From transportation to entertainment, food to flowers, that could mean companies work with delegations coming to town or venue sites to supply services. 

One of those vendors is Connie Estey’s Seawalk Custom Florals.

“When the coronavirus hit around mid-March, all my clients just postponed,” Estey said.

She has run the business from her home for three years. Estey was selected to present at the RNC Vendor Showcase earlier this month, hoping for a shot -- one that came this week.

“I love my job and it's just exciting,” Estey said.

While it is a political event, she’s not talking politics. Rather, it is a chance to show off her work and potentially salvage a financially devastating year.

“For me, it doesn't matter if it was the Democrats, Republicans; it's a giant event and it's so good for the city and all the little businesses,” Estey said.

Orders dropped by 99% during the pandemic, she said. Estey explained this may be the biggest stage she’s worked in her career and is ready for the challenge.

“Anyone who knows me knows I’m up for a challenge and I really love a deadline,” Estey said.

See the full list of registered vendors on the Host Committee website.

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