Chicago couple say their support of Trump cost them their small business

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(This post originally appeared on The Washington Post)

One Facebook post.

That’s what started it all, according to the husband-and-wife owners of a Chicago small business called World of Music. After a “seemingly innocent” Facebook post mentioning Suzzanne Monk’s attendance at a Donald Trump rally last March (which was ultimately cancelled), the owners of the shop were soon in the middle of a controversy that turned ugly, says NBC Chicago.

The couple say that people who knew them began harassing them on social media for supporting the then-presidential candidate. Negative reviews and ultimately threats began appearing on their company’s Facebook page. Monk, a life-long Chicagoan who is very involved in the music community, told NBC Chicago that someone also posted a message that said “I hope nothing happens to your business like a fire or a brick through the window.” She and her husband said they filed a report in September with the police in response to threats they were receiving from a “motivated stalker,” although these reports could not be immediately confirmed.

Around this time, business fell off. The owners were forced to lay off employees. The couple say that, because of their support for Trump, many of their customers and friends turned away from them for fear of harming their own reputations. The couple were surprised that their political reviews would have such a devastating impact on their business. “Artists were supposed to be the people with the thick skins who could deal with controversial material,” Monk said. Lesson learned. Politics and business just don’t mix.

So now, because of the bullying they received, the couple are going online. They’re closing their store in April and plan to move away from Chicago. They’ve started a GoFundMe page that tells their story and asks for help financing their “an openly pro Trump” online business which will “proudly boast our support for the 45th president.” According to the NBC Chicago piece, their GoFundMe campaign has raised about $16,500 towards its $30,000 goal so far.

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