Milwaukee 2020 Host Committee on Monday launched its vendor search portal, where individuals and groups coming to town for the DNC can find businesses to provide services ranging from event production to hair and makeup.
The online directory includes more than 1,100 businesses and individuals, largely based in southeastern Wisconsin. Vendors include language interpreters, bus companies, musicians, food trucks, software developers and marketing firms.
Users have the ability to search by service, diversity classification or certification, and business location, and are instructed to contact vendors directly with questions about pricing and availability. “Our goal at the Host Committee is to use the presence of the Democratic National Convention to highlight and uplift exceptional local and diverse businesses,” said Lafayette Crump, deputy chief of staff and vice president of diversity and inclusion at the Milwaukee 2020 Host Committee.
Over the past year, local organizers have been working to recruit and register local diverse business, meaning minority-, women-, LGBT-, service disabled-, or veteran-owned, for the portal as part of the host committee's Supplier Diversity Initiative.
Crump said the portal will help ensure the DNC's estimated $200 million in economic impact is spread widely across the region.
“From the very beginning of this journey, we have placed the highest emphasis on creating real opportunities for diverse businesses to get involved in the convention,” said Representative Gwen Moore, co-chair of the Milwaukee 2020 Host Committee. “The launch of the vendor portal is a significant step in the process, and I hope that diverse businesses continue to sign up on the portal to help us showcase the Milwaukee story to the world.”
Vendors can register via the host committee's website. The portal will be updated on a rolling basis to include additional submissions. Business are asked to provide a description, contact information and majority owner information.
The vendor search portal is similar to the host committee's venue search portal, which launched in December and now includes listings of more than 600 restaurants, bars, banquet halls and other event spaces throughout the region.
The DNC takes place July 13 to 16 at Fiserv Forum, but 2,000 related events are set to take place during the convention and in the months leading up to it.