The 2020 Republican National Convention (RNC) may be a boom for some small businesses in Charlotte, North Carolina, because conservatives are committed to hiring Black business owners as vendors, according to Black Enterprise.
In July, RNC officials announced the city would host the convention, at which delegates choose the party’s next presidential nominee.
“The Charlotte 2020 Host Committee is working to create a workforce and vendor opportunity strategy with a focus on local and regional spend, inclusivity, and diversity,” said John Lassiter, CEO of the committee. “We want diverse residents and businesses, including black-owned businesses, to help showcase our community and realize the economic benefits of this major event. While it is too early to discuss specifics related to our vendor strategy, we are intentional with our efforts.”
Officials in Charlotte hope the convention will bring an economic boom to the city in excess of $100 million during the four-day event.
Lassiter said the organization is “on track financially” in reaching its $70 million goal, which exceeds the projected cost of $64 million. The committee hopes to reach its goal by the end of 2019.
Charlotte NAACP President Corine Mack wants to ensure Black business owners, especially women, are included in the conversation.
Mack said 50 percent of the vendors should be people of color, with African-Americans making up 30 percent. She added that the RNC should fund implicit bias and cultural proficiency training prior to the event. “In making a decision to do better and be better, it allows us to build a bridge of understanding and inclusion,” Mack told Black Enterprise.
According to U.S. Census data, around 860,000 people live in Charlotte, and African-Americans make up slightly over 35 percent of its population.
“We have nearly two years to aggressively engage diverse talent and to collaborate across public, private and civic entities to make this a positive experience, one our community can be proud of,” said Lassiter.
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Teddy is a multimedia journalist who serves as the culture and political writer for EBONY. His work has appeared in NBC's Owned and Operated stations, as well as DNAInfo, which covered local neighborhood news in New York City. He received his Masters in Journalism from the Craig Newmark School of Journalism at CUNY in 2017.