Small Businesses: “We’re Here” for The DNC
Some local businesses are already going beyond Mayor Jim Kenney’s call to stay put and stay open when the Democratic National Convention comes to town. Some have gone as far as partnering with the convention host committee to prepare the city for an estimated 50,000 visitors.
The host committee announced on Friday that it will feature these business owners and employees in a series of short videos and photographs on social media, giving workers a chance to showcase what it’s like to work and live in the city.
Businesses are also dishing out recommendations for how visitors should spend their free time once they hit the streets of Philadelphia in about 20 days.
“The host committee has been committed to working with diverse, local businesses since Philadelphia won the bid to host the convention, and that effort has only gotten stronger over the last several months,” said Kevin Washo, executive director of the host committee.
The last time Philadelphia made preparations for a large crowd, businesses were left in dismay. After Pope Francis delivered mass on Ben Franklin Parkway in September 2015, many businesses said they were behind in yearly revenue following the event, though the city projected a $500 million economic boon.
But the DNC host committee’s proactive move to work local businesses into preparation is in line with their pledge to keep businesses out of the red once the event is underway in a few weeks. “It is important to us that local businesses be positively impacted by the convention taking place in Philadelphia,” Washo said.
Businesses in other sectors are also finding ways to get their products and services in the mix.
Featured in the video series is Ernel Martinez of the Kensington-based artist collective, Amber Art & Design. The team painted the Pennsylvania donkey as part of the committee’s “Donkeys Around Town” project.
Christopher Wertz of TUCS Cleaning provided cleaning services at the convention offices and will provide these services during the week of the convention. Perfection Events and Stockton & Partners, two local event production companies, will work together to produce the host committee’s welcome party on July 24th.
The host committee says it has also worked with a number of other local businesses to plan the convention, including the Philadelphia String Quartet, Dre’s Water Ice and Ice Cream, Hip City Veg, Vesper Social Club, and Rittenhouse Political Partners.
Here is Ernel Martinez, co-founder of Amber Art & Design, on what visitors should do in Philadelphia at the end of the month:
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