Milwaukee small business conference focuses on 2020 DNC

NOW: Milwaukee small business conference focuses on 2020 DNC

MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- As planning for the DNC is underway, Milwaukee's small businesses are needed to prepare for the 50,000 people expected.

It was Milwaukee's 10th annual small business conference Monday and this year half of the day's activities revolved around the DNC.

"So we have about 14 months to plan and prepare for the DNC 2020 and part of that involves to build the capacity of small businesses," said Ossie Kendrix, President and CEO of the African American Chamber of Commerce of Wisconsin

The African American Chamber of Commerce helps put on the conference and says so many different businesses are needed when the DNC comes to town.

"So what's needed: graphic design, event planning, a makeup artist for the speakers, transportation, food, restaurants...those are just some examples of the opportunities that exist," said Kendrix.

"I really help businesses and individuals make connections through powerful communication," said Dorothy McBride, Principal and Founder of The Communication Strategist. She was one of the presenters, and while her business may not tie-in to the DNC as much as others, she says it's created an air of excitement among small businesses.

"One of the examples that was given on the panel: if you're normally open from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., maybe you want to consider opening at 6:00 a.m. and closing at midnight to really be able to capitalize on this amazing opportunity, and then when this goes well, who knows what other opportunities could come Milwaukee's way," said McBride.

"I am the owner and operator with my husband of Triciclo Peru. It's a Peruvian empanada restaurant currently a food truck looking to expand soon...this summer," said Amy Narr.

Narr was dedicating much of her day to find out how her restaurant can help feed those tens of thousands of guests. After Milwaukee's Small Business Conference, there was a session hosted by the Wisconsin Restaurant Association the Italian Community Center to inform restaurants specifically about their role in the DNC.

"We would love to be on those lists and be able to be suppliers. The DNC is in for a treat Peruvian empanada's are a new thing in Milwaukee and we're really excited to share that with all of our guests that are going to be experiencing Milwaukee," said Narr.

Officials with the small business conference said so many services are needed for the DNC, the city might even need to create small businesses in the next year.

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