TAMPA, Fla. - The signature color for the Republican party might be red, but for the RNC Host Committee trying to promote local Tampa Bay area businesses, the operative color is green.
Local company MJM Electric has experience wiring major events for power, sound and video, including Super Bowls. Owner Mark Mazur says a political convention is in a different league.
"Ten times bigger than a Super Bowl -- easily," said Mazur.
Mazur hired forty additional workers for the GOP Convention contract. Most will be temporary hires, but the best will stay on.
"Out of those forty people that we added, we find 25 percent of them to be gems that we keep. We just hope to find new talent to expand the company with."
The RNC Host committee has earned praise for reaching out to local companies including boutique clothiers, video production companies, donut shops and restaurants.
Committee CEO Ken Jones says they will be raising 55 to 60 million dollars and are committed to returning much of that to the local economy.
For those companies that don't sign major contracts directly with the RNC, a local business directory was formed to help the 50,000 expected visitors find local small businesses.
Political partisanship takes a back seat to profits in what the host committee calls the "economy convention."
That will be no problem for Mark Mazur.
"I can't tell you how proud I am to be working on the Republican Convention. That's about as far as I'll go on my politics," said Mazur.
Even temporary workers can expect to stay busy through most of September.
Disassembling all the convention related infrastructure from the forum and returning it to the hockey and concert venue it was designed to be will take several weeks after the convention is over.
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