MILWAUKEE – The first GOP Presidential Primary Debate and RNC might divide the political aisles, but one thing is nearly unanimously agreed on: visitors are on their way to Milwaukee, and business with them.
The Vendor Fair in the Baird Center on Wednesday celebrated the opportunities that entrepreneurs in Milwaukee will be presented with as the Republican National Convention will make southeastern Wisconsin the center of the Republican world for three days in July. Mayor Cavalier Johnson acknowledges that some citizens with different political leanings may be upset about hosting this event but points to the revenue dollars that are on the way.
“Having the convention and debate here puts the eyes of the world on Milwaukee. We are going to create a virtuous economic cycle for the city (of Milwaukee) which is good for our citizens and businesses.”
Amanda Little is the owner of Amazing K Nails, a cosmetics store specializing in press-on nails. Little says her business is already starting to boom with the debate in town.
“I’m so excited that Mayor Johnson has brought the debate and convention here because it helps the local businesses when they can partner with us. We’ve had many people come to our booth tonight and ask about bridal showers or spa days for their team. We’re super excited to partner and do things like that,” said Little.
Since its founding, brewing has been a bedrock of Milwaukee’s economy and identity. Mike Walker was at the fair representing Lakefront Brewery, one of Milwaukee’s most popular breweries and restaurants. Walker said this is a time to roll out the red carpet.
“We definitely have a reputation to uphold with Milwaukee’s brewing industry. We want to make sure that anyone coming to town, not just for the RNC but for any convention to experience what good beer is about.”
Major Goolsby’s is a popular sports bar in town and was represented by manager Drew Olson. Olson says it can only go uphill for businesses from here.
“The debate is just a small preview to what is coming next year when the RNC is in town.”
The Republican National Convention will take place July 15th-18th, 2024, at Fiserv Forum.
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