Jeramey Jannene

RNC Looking For Businesses To Partner With

Host committee launches vendor website, promises lasting impact.

By - Apr 20th, 2023 11:49 am
Milwaukee 2024 RNC Vendor website. Photo by Jeramey Jannene.

Milwaukee 2024 RNC Vendor website. Photo by Jeramey Jannene.

The 2024 Republican National Convention is open for business.

The convention’s host committee launched a Vendor Connection website Thursday morning to solicit local vendors.

“I want the local businesses here in our city, here in our state, to make money,” said Mayor Cavalier Johnson at a press conference at the Sherman Phoenix.

The initial focus is on compiling a database of vendors by capability. The mayor said he wants every carpenter, limo service, printer, cleaner and cook to apply. He also wants diverse businesses to participate, as the city’s contract with the convention hosts calls for.

“With 50,000 people, there are going to be a lot of opportunities,” said host committee chief of staff and senior advisor Alison Prange.

Prange and VISIT Milwaukee CEO Peggy Williams-Smith said the database will outlive the convention.

“Our leads have more than doubled since we announced we are hosting the 2024 Republican National Convention,” said Williams-Smith. VISIT hopes to use the database to help connect vendors with future events.

The website was made by Zizzo Group, a Walker’s Point-based marketing firm. Firm founder and CEO Anne Zizzo said it was a “huge honor” for her firm to be among the first local firms hired.

The mayor said the host committee and Republican National Committee are already fulfilling their commitment to hire diverse businesses. He noted that a recent event included desserts from Confectionately Yours, a Black-owned business which has its first location in the Sherman Phoenix marketplace.

But will the businesses thatt apply to work with the RNC receive coaching or other support after applying? Prange said it was too early, but she encouraged businesses to connect with existing city resources. Many future service opportunities are expected to be awarded via requests for proposals.

Interested businesses can apply at

The 2020 Democratic National Convention used a similar website to solicit interested vendors, but much of the potential work evaporated when the convention was scaled down repeatedly because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Republican National Convention will take place from July 15-18, 2024. But the impact is expected to start to be felt starting this summer, the first Republican presidential debate of the cycle will occur in Milwaukee in August. It will be hosted by Fox News.

Johnson didn’t waste a chance to discuss the city’s fiscal situation when asked at the press conference. He endorsed the concept of a sales tax as part of a diversified for the city, which is currently heavily reliant on stagnant property tax revenue and declining state aid.

He said the convention visitors highlight the need for different revenue streams, because the city currently doesn’t generate any direct income to support police, fire or public works services that visitors rely on. But he said the situation plays out daily when suburban residents drive into the city. “They pay nothing, nothing, zero dollars, to support these services,” said the mayor. He said he wants them to visit and he wants them to pay a fair amount.


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Categories: Politics, Weekly

One thought on “RNC Looking For Businesses To Partner With”

  1. ZeeManMke says:

    Nice! A handy and convenient list of GOP “partners.” A list of businesses to not patronize.

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