When the Republican Convention kicked off this week in Tampa, Fla., executives at NewSouth Windows, based in Tampa, say they loved being part of the excitement that the Republican convention brought to their town. The week started with worries of Hurricane Isaac hitting their city, but whatever Mother Nature or politics threw at them they were ready.

Owner Earl Rahn says Isaac “had everyone nervous” though it ended up being a non-event in Tampa. “Sadly enough the storm is going to New Orleans,” he adds.

But if the storm did head to Tampa his company was prepared.

“We had set it up with our employees that if winds reached a certain mile per hour they didn’t have to come in,” says Rahn.

“Had it hit, our customers know they can still call us,” he adds. “If something happens they know we are still prepared to take care of them.”

But once the threat of Isaac was over, in Tampa at least, the city and its residents focused on the Republican convention.

“We had breakfast with Carl Rove on Monday,” says Rahn. “He didn’t know we were there as we were one of 100 people but it was exciting to be there. We had CNN sitting to our right, and the Tampa Bay Times in front of us.”

While Tampa is bustling this week with an abundance of visitors, Amy Rahn, marketing director, points out that the preparations actually began well before now.

“The convention began affecting the city months ago as preparations began,” she says. “They have done so much to beautify the streets.”

Those beautification efforts, however, weren’t without a few glitches. In June, tropical storm Debby flooded parts of the city.

“You had all these beautiful, freshly planted palm trees that were under salt water,” says Earl Rahn. “Plant life doesn’t do well in salt water.”

But all in all both say the city looks pristine. “They have even landscaped the parking garages,” says Earl Rahn who adds that for the most part it is business as usual at NewSouth.

“We are still running appointments,” he says. “We have told some people who live close to downtown that it may take us a little longer to get to you but all in all it’s business as usual.”

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