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Democratic National Convention kickoff highlights opportunities for small businesses

The job of the host committee for the 2012 Democratic National Convention is to make sure Charlotte’s small-business community is aware of the opportunities to make money with the convention.

That was the message from Dan Murrey, director of the host committee, today at Central Piedmont Community College event to kick off the convention.

The committee is putting together a vendor directory to show which businesses handle which services. And the group has staff members set aside to help businesses bid on contracts. Interested companies can log go to charlottein2012.com to register.

“We want one of the lasting legacies of this convention to be connections between local businesses that didn’t exist before,” Murrey, a former Mecklenburg County commissioner, said.

Former Mayor Harvey Gantt talked about the importance of passing on the economic impact from the DNC to the city in general and the Charlotte business community specifically.

“How do we do a great job of presenting Charlotte to the world?” Gantt said.

The former mayor also stressed that the convention staff would focus on pairing minority businesses with projects for the convention but that not every caterer or construction firm would get work because of the event.

“We’ve got to manage expectations,” Gantt said. “And we want this to be a legacy of this convention to keep our directory of women and minority-owned businesses up and going even after the convention.”

Murrey said the company developing the Web-based vendor directory was a minority-owned firm.

Scott Baughman can be reached at scott.baughman@mecktimes.com.

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