Will DNC Convention Help Small Businesses?
Common Council seeks ways to spread economic impact beyond Downtown.
The Milwaukee Common Council wants to ensure that many of the city’s small businesses and residents benefit from the July 2020 Democratic National Convention.
“Getting the Democratic National Convention is a huge win for the city, but that win has to be felt by the whole city,” said Alderwoman Milele A. Coggs at a meeting of the council’s Steering and Rules Committee. “One of our ways we can make sure of that is to keep our eye on the ball from the beginning.”
“Although we see the benefits, there are quite a few people in our community that feel it’s only going to benefit downtown hotels,” said Coggs. The event, according to organizers, is expected to draw 50,000 people and create a $200 million economic impact.
The alderwoman already partnered with other council members and the Department of City Development‘s Commercial Corridor Team to host an event for Business Improvement District and Neighborhood Improvement District leaders. Kenneth Little, who leads the DCD team, said the event drew 101 attendees and served as a good start for the effort.
The city, which is able to enforce hiring and procurement requirements in its own contacts, will be involved in law enforcement and security contracting, but not a lot of other contracting. A host committee will handle most of the procurement. “We talk about community benefits, and that sounds nice, but as a practical matter is that embedded in the host contract?” asked Alderman Robert Bauman.
“We don’t have all the answers now. We’re still exploring,” said Little.
Mahan said two Assistant City Attorneys are working with the host committee. A request for proposals for a variety of products and services will come after the host committee hires an executive director, Mahan added.
Coggs said it was important not to pursue just official business, but work to secure business from what she said is an estimated 1,500 to 2,000 other events that will happen around the official convention at Fiserv Forum.
“It behooves us to get our stuff right and get everybody that’s possible to the table, because once they [the host committee] takes over the show is going to happen,” said Mahan.
Mahan said one of the key things the city is working on is helping small businesses to be bonded, which will be required to bid on any contracts. “Putting up that $3,000 bond is the difference between doing the work and not doing the work,” he said. He promised that a plan was forthcoming.
Businesses looking to get involved are recommended to attend the City of Milwaukee’s 10th annual Small Business Conference on April 29th. Mahan noted that the free conference, which already has 250 reservations, would connect business leaders with city officials who could answer their questions about the DNC and other conventions.
Businesses interested in working with the DNC are also encouraged to call Ken Little’s team at (414) 286-5617.
“After having this, some of the larger conventions in the nation are now available for us to bid for,” said the optimistic Mahan.
But Bauman wasn’t so sanguine. “I don’t want to create a false impression that if they sign up with Ken Little they’re going to be in a pipeline to get all this work,” said the alderman. Coggs said that’s why she wanted to start the discussion so early.
Businesses and individuals looking to get involved in the DNC can read our earlier guide, 4 Ways To Get Involved In DNC, which includes a link to the official business registration form with the host committee.
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Related Legislation: File 181810
More about the 2020 Democratic National Convention
- City Hall: Will DNC Convention Help Small Businesses? - Jeramey Jannene - Apr 25th, 2019
- Perez Sees Regional Impact For DNC Convention - Corri Hess - Apr 24th, 2019
- City Hall: What’s the Infrastructure Plan for DNC? - Jeramey Jannene - Apr 4th, 2019
- 4 Ways To Get Involved In DNC - Jeramey Jannene - Mar 15th, 2019
- Transportation: Streetcar Extension Planned To Start in September - Jeramey Jannene - Mar 14th, 2019
- City Hall: To Host DNC, Barrett Must Be Reelected - Jeramey Jannene - Mar 14th, 2019
- Why Did Democrats Choose Milwaukee? - Jeramey Jannene - Mar 11th, 2019
- City Hall: City Approves DNC Contract - Jeramey Jannene - Mar 11th, 2019
- City Hall: 12 Rules For City in DNC Convention Contract - Jeramey Jannene - Mar 11th, 2019
- City Wins 2020 Democratic Convention - Jeramey Jannene - Mar 11th, 2019
- Milwaukee Named Host City for 2020 Democratic National Convention - Milwaukee 2020 DNC Convention Committee - Mar 11th, 2019
- Statement by IBEW Local 494 Business Manager on Milwaukee being selected to host the 2020 Democratic National Convention - International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 494 - Mar 11th, 2019
- Lt. Gov.-Elect Barnes Confident Funding Will be Secured to Host DNC - Corri Hess - Dec 27th, 2018
- Co-Chairs of the Milwaukee 2020 DNC Convention Host Committee Announced - Milwaukee 2020 DNC Convention Committee - Dec 17th, 2018
- Will Election Help City Get Convention? - Corri Hess - Nov 12th, 2018
- In the DNC Selection Process, Milwaukee is the Crème de la Crème - State Sen. Tim Carpenter - Jul 23rd, 2018
- Milwaukee Named Finalist for the 2020 Democratic National Convention - Milwaukee 2020 DNC Convention Committee - Jun 20th, 2018
- Milwaukee Submits Bid for the 2020 Democratic National Convention - Milwaukee 2020 DNC Convention Committee - Jun 18th, 2018
- Eyes on Milwaukee: Meet the Finalists for Democratic National Convention - Jeramey Jannene - May 11th, 2018
- Eyes on Milwaukee: City Bidding for Democratic National Convention - Jeramey Jannene - Feb 21st, 2018