According to the Denver Post via Politico, Denver businesses have been disappointed by the amount of money spent locally by the Democratic National Convention Committee. While over 2,000 listings for local companies have made the DNCC’s directory, little actual revenue has been received by locals for the convention itself. The DNCC seems more comfortable working with vendors they already know, from as far away as New York City:
As soon as Charlotte Kulscar heard the Democratic National Committee named Denver its 2008 convention site, she began researching how to get a piece of the estimated $160 million economic impact for her print shop.
She thought she had a good shot.
L&M Pressworks already does printing for the city, the state and the Downtown Denver Partnership. She filled out the application for the DNC Vendor Directory and was sure to include the shop’s status as female- owned and green-certified.
Yet so far, none of that effort has resulted in work.
“Since this convention is so green, we thought that was going to be the best way to go, but we haven’t gotten anything out of it,” Kulscar said about her Denver shop, which is Forest Stewardship Council-approved, uses soy-based inks and ensures its paper mills replant the trees they use. “We’ve run into a dead-end everywhere.”
Cities vie for the honor of hosting political conventions because of the business they attract. Denver and St. Paul hope that the revenues from local businesses will offset the enormous security costs of hosting these events, with the cities receiving increased tax receipts and locals hiring more people to support the business. However, with the DNCC falling far short of their fundraising goals and canceling dozens of auxiliary events, the opportunities for local businesses seem to be shrinking.
Even those that remain don’t appear to be going to Denver businesses, according to the Post. And those handful on the DNCC’s local vendor list that have gotten business from the convention complain of poor organization and bad communication. Speaking of communication, one contract that one would have expected to stay local would have been translation services — but that went to New York-based Global TransAction rather than local Enlaso of Boulder. Why wouldn’t the DNCC want local translators instead?
“Speaking to that example specifically, the firm we are working with is a woman-owned business who has experience working with conventions and a history of working with Hispanic media,” Wyeth said.
That job didn’t go out for a bid, either. Denver may wonder why, but they’re not going to get many more answers from the DNCC. They refused to answer questions on the percentage of their contracts that they awarded to local firms. The DNCC says their mission was to “provide businesses with tools to help themselves”, and not to actually give them business.
Democrats hoped to turn Colorado blue in the upcoming election by holding their convention in Denver. I wonder how impressed Coloradans are with Democrats after watching them stage this convention?