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‘The little gems:’ Small businesses look to cash in on 2020 DNC

MILWAUKEE -- Area business owners are hoping to cash in on the 2020 Democratic National Convention, and city leaders want to help.

Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett said Wednesday, April 17 he wants the DNC to offer vendor contracts to businesses in the Milwaukee area -- and not just large companies.

"We have sandwiches. Our corned beef is a favorite of everyone," said Baboonie Tatum.

Opportunity drove Tatum to open Rise and Grind Cafe, located at 6007 North Teutonia Avenue (near Teutonia and Florist) in Bronzeville. The Milwaukee business owner said she hopes the city's political visitors will make the two-mile drive north of Fiserv Forum to check her out.

Rise and Gride Cafe

Baboonie Tatum

"Come and check out some of the small people, and the small businesses that are working really hard and that are doing great things in the community as well," said Tatum.

Tatum and other Milwaukee-area business owners are hoping to cash in on the Democratic National Convention -- July 13 to July 16, 2020 in Milwaukee.

"$200 million. That's the estimate that will be spent during this convention," said Alderwoman Milele Coggs.

Dozens took part in a brainstorming session with the Milwaukee Common Council on Wednesday.

Tom Barrett

"We're not promising anything, but I think the more information they have, the better position they will be in to get some of these contracts," said Mayor Barrett.

The DNC will hire hundreds of vendors to handle everything from programs, to transportation, to catering.

"We have a great chef. The food is absolutely delicious," Tatum said.

Tatum said she hopes the DNC will give her cafe a shot, boosting business and her drive to success.

"People will get to see what real Milwaukee is," said Tatum. "It's just not all about the big places. Then you have the little gems."

It will be some time before the DNC offers contracts to any businesses in the Milwaukee area, but they are asking you to register your business on the convention website.

City of Milwaukee

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