Posted on November 13, 2018

Republicans: We’re Committed to Using Black Business Vendors at 2020 RNC Convention

Jeffrey McKinney, Black Enterprise, November 9, 2018

Annual political party conventions — whether for Republicans or Democrats — can be lucrative. That is why the stakes are potentially high for black-owned small businesses selected as vendors for the next Republican National Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina. Some local officials are hoping the 2020 RNC convention will bring an economic impact exceeding $100 million.

The RNC officially picked Charlotte, in July 2018, to host the four-day convention. John Lassiter, CEO of the Charlotte 2020 Host Committee, has told the media his group is “on track financially,” for reaching its goal to raise $70 million. {snip} Yet, the big question is how many vendor contracts will be granted to local black entrepreneurs?

Charlotte NAACP President Corine Mack wants to ensure black businesses, specifically black women-owned businesses, have a seat at the vendor table. She believes at least 50% of the vendors should be people of color, with 30% of that group being black. Plus, Mack says the RNC should consider funding implicit bias and cultural proficiency training leading into and during the RNC. She said the training could help whites take a self-examination and realize their biases. {snip}

Charlotte leaders have emphasized that they want to ensure minorities, women, and diverse groups are represented in providing goods and services. City Council Member James Mitchell says Charlotte 2020 should aim to give 30% of vendor contracts to minorities and women, Liberty Headlines reported. RNC officials told Black Enterprise Charlotte 2020 is committed to making sure black businesses are hired as vendors. {snip}