By Dashiell Coleman
U.S. Rep. Patrick McHenry says he’ll have a new outlook when shopping at convenience stores.
“I’m going to be much more patient,” he said Wednesday evening.
McHenry’s revelation came while working the register at the QuikTrip on Long Avenue near downtown Gastonia. The congressman was there as part of the National Association of Convenience Stores “In Store” program, which is designed to give lawmakers some hands-on experience with the industry.
“They want to show me how regulated they are with the laws that apply to convenience stores, whether it’s the cost of credit-card swipes or cash management or managing a variety of food and quick-service food items,” McHenry said. “It’s just trying to get that surface layer deeper.”
According to the association, there are more than 150,000 convenience stores in the U.S. that account for roughly $550 billion in sales. North Carolina has the sixth-highest concentration of convenience stores per state, with more than 6,200 stores in operation at the end of last year.
In the North Carolina’s 10th U.S. House District alone, there are 511 such stores.
The association has held similar events in 80 stores across the country over the past four years.
“Almost every part of the business is impacted by Washington,” said NACS counsel Doug Cantor.
On Wednesday, members of the association talked to McHenry about laws that regulate how credit-card transactions are handled, but QuikTrip division manager David Lawson said he was just proud to show off how his company works.
“What I’m really hoping that he got out of it is our employees do a great job and work very hard and that he has a better understanding of what we do,” said Lawson, whose division includes 83 stores in the Carolinas.
McHenry, who is running for an eighth term in Congress this year, held a town hall here earlier this week. He is from Gastonia but now lives in Lincoln County.
On Wednesday, McHenry wore a customized name tag that identified him as “in training” while working with clerk trainer Dakesha White at the register.
White showed McHenry how to operate a register and check IDs.
Eric Kendrick of Cleveland County had no idea a member of Congress rang him up.
“I’m glad I was nice to him,” Kendrick said later. ”… He’s another person just like me.”
Read the full article from the Gaston Gazette here.
Patrick is fighting for you in Washington to protect your Second Amendment rights, work for small businesses in our District and across the nation, and bring your voice to Congress.