The Democratic National Convention Committee has settled in Philadelphia and is open for business.
Jude Arijaje, owner of Minuteman Press on South Broad Street, stood next to Mayor Nutter and the Democratic National Convention Committee CEO on Thursday in his printing shop as proof that the DNC wants to partner with local businesses in advance of the party's national convention here next year.
"Small businesses, large business, we want everyone to have a shot at the pie," the Rev. Leah Daughtry, the convention's CEO, said. "We're looking forward to working with Philadelphians to create opportunities and fulfill opportunities."
The convention, which will officially nominate the Democratic candidates for president and vice president, will take place July 25-28 at the Wells Fargo Center. The big event is expected to draw 35,000 to 50,000 people.
The executive committee will spend about $50 million on myriad items such as stage equipment, lights, and catering, and hopes to purchase locally and regionally, Daughtry said. Nutter added that the overall economic impact was expected to be about $350 million.
Arijaje successfully won a bid to do printing work for the committee. The DNC has so far ordered about $10,000 worth of banners, signs, and business cards, Arijaje said. And there is more to come.
Nutter commended Arijaje and said he hoped many more like him end up benefiting from the convention.
"A union print shop here on South Broad Street is just one of what will be many, many examples of local businesses that employ local residents and serve needs in our community," Nutter said.
Convention organizers will be holding informational sessions for local and regional businesses on how they can apply for work with the committee. The first session will be a webinar Oct. 27 and the second will be a town-hall meeting Nov. 16. (Details can be found on the DNC website, Demconvention.com.)
"There is a wealth of money coming in because of the convention," Daughtry said.
Nutter stressed that the convention would be very different from the recent papal visit, not just with a smaller security perimeter but also with people with more disposable income coming into town.
"I would anticipate during that week, virtually any kind of serious restaurant or business should be sold out for the entire week," Nutter said. "Conventiongoers like to eat, and there are parties and other events and activities."