Despite calls for consumers to show their dissatisfaction with Troy Mayor Janice Daniels by taking their shop bags elsewhere, retailers report it's really been business as usual.
After Troy Mayor Janice Daniels on her personal Facebook page, many residents while others asked for
Although last Monday, for some, her apology wasn't enough.
Since Daniels' comment went viral Dec. 2, a handful of Facebook groups and websites – including the De-Occupy Somerset Collection to Ouster Anti-Gay Troy Mayor Facebook group, which has 315 "likes," and Boycott Troy – have surfaced, causing some local retailers to worry.
A Facebook wall post by the De-Occupy Somerset Collection reads: "As one of Troy's most visible businesses, Somerset Collection is uniquely positioned to influence this issue. ... If Daniels loses the support of businesses, her entire tea party platform collapses."
"Shop Auburn Hills people!" wrote Scott Neal on the Facebook page. "We've got so many options, better traffic, and better leadership."
"There are much better places to spend one's hard-earned cash," wrote Ken Kesey.
Is it making a difference?
On Monday, several Troy businesses reported no change in sales since the mayor's post surfaced about 10 days ago. In fact, some businesses are reporting "it's really busy."
When asked if she'd seen a decrease in business, operations manager Alfreda Pettiway said, "Not to my knowledge."
She added, "It's steady."
At at the Somerset Collection, the store administrator Katie Fossee confirmed no change in sales in the past week and a half. "There's really no difference," Fossee said.
A manager at agreed, saying, "I haven't seen anything change; it's really busy."
also remains unaffected by the "Boycott Troy" movement, according to Shelley Darmetko, spokeswoman for the mall.
"We have not seen a fluctuation in businesses as people prepare for Christmas by shopping here and taking advantage of the value at Oakland Mall," Darmetko said.
She added, "It’s unfortunate that Troy businesses have been caught in this cross-fire with the controversy."
A representative from the Somerset Collection declined to be interviewed, but issued the following statement:
"The recent comments made by the Mayor of Troy do not reflect the opinions of anyone associated with the Somerset Collection. We continue, as always, to remain a welcoming environment for our guests and support inclusion and diversity at all times."
Groups, residents discourage boycott
President said boycotting Troy's businesses is not a way to punish the mayor for her actions, though it is a way to potentially harm local businesses.
"It would be wrong to compromise the businesses' ability to contribute to Troy," Hodges said.
"We’re hoping that our message is getting out – that the concern and frustration needs to be directed to City Hall and not the business community."
And while some are still urging shoppers to stay out of Troy until the mayor resigns, others, like members of the conservative , are encouraging shoppers to stay in Troy this season.
"We decided to launch 'Home for the Holidays: Shop Troy' to help protect the bottom line of the retailers, which is important," said coalition president Glenn Clark. The group recently organized an event at the Somerset Collection.
"Anyone that is advocating in commerce for Troy, we applaud," Hodges said. "We’d be foolish to challenge anything like that."
She added, "I give a lot of credit to the members of the LGBT community who are pursuing more positive ways to be heard."
Other Patch readers dissatisfied with the mayor's post agreed that boycotting businesses isn't a desirable solution.
"No doubt Daniels needs to go for multiple reasons," Roy Williams in part. "But I'm not about to boycott Troy businesses. That would be punishing the wrong people."
"Please don't boycott Troy businesses ... because Troy business owners aren't to blame for the mayor and her odd behavior," commented Sharon MacDonnell, author of the Keep Troy Strong blog that first unearthed Daniels' controversial comment.
"I don't believe that a boycott of troy businesses is the proper way to show frustration," Randy Husk commented in part. "If she really cared about the City of Troy she would immediately resign because this is going to disrupt the city and cast a negative light on our great community for many months."
Daniels has declined further interviews with Patch at this time, though she is expected to be present at the Dec. 19 Troy City Council meeting.