GOP Convention To Offer Innovations, Diversity For Tampa Bay Businesses

When the Grand Old Party comes to Tampa's St. Petersburg Times Forum for the Republican National Convention in August 2012, it will bring with it innovations and diverse opportunities never seen before at a political convention of its size.

"It will essentially serve as our own stimulus program," says Bob Grammig, partner at Holland & Knight, the legal firm chosen by the Tampa Host Committee to provide legal counsel for issues relating to the upcoming convention. "There will be a lot of jobs -- in the hospitality sector as well as build-outs and hook ups for media at the Forum. On the face of it, they may not seem big, but they're pretty important jobs."

Grammig says that the convention will offer innovative, state-of-the-art security that will offer long-term benefits to the city of Tampa for many years to come.

"There will be a significant grant of more than $50 million for security, and much of that will rebound to the city of Tampa," says Grammig. "In cities like Minneapolis (where they have had similar conventions), they ended up upgrading whole security systems. There will be a big security sector around the Forum to make it less vulnerable to terrorist attack. Some of it will be usable for years and years."

In addition, Grammig says there are plans for a convention village in which corporations and small businesses throughout the Tampa Bay region can showcase their goods and services before visiting delegates.

There will be a lot of opportunities for minority businesses to participate," says Grammig. "This is a unique concept that hasn't been done at any convention to my knowledge before."

Writer: Missy Kavanaugh
Source: Bob Grammig, Holland & Knight

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