Business Connect & Community Outreach Director LaKendria Robinson talking to local small business owners about opportunities with Super Bowl LV.

Hosting what is arguably the biggest sporting event in the world, Super Bowl LIV drew an impressive 200,000 visitors to South Florida with an estimated economic impact to the region of $400M.

With Super Bowl LIV now a Miami memory, the next Super Bowl host city, Tampa, is gearing up for Super Bowl LV, to be played on February 7, 2021 at Raymond James Stadium. It was made official in February when Super Bowl Host Committee Chair Rodney Baretto handed off the NFL football to Tampa’s Host Committee in an official ceremony.

Big hotel, restaurant and retail chains in the area will earn big bucks, but they’re not the only ones. Small businesses can cash in too.

Business Connect, a joint cooperative between the National Football League, Tampa Bay Super Bowl LV Host Committee and Florida SBDC at Hillsborough County, finds and screens companies owned by minorities, veterans, women and LGBT owners to provide their goods and services.

Business owners were invited to Super Bowl LV Business Connect Community Information Sessions to help link local diverse business suppliers to Super Bowl LV contracting opportunities while also providing a series of networking and professional development workshops for all participating businesses.

Hundreds of business owners attended one of three information sessions at Hillsborough County Entrepreneur Collaborative Center, located at 2101 E. Palm Ave. in Tampa. Welcoming business owners to the event was LaKendria Robinson, director of Business Connect & Community Outreach for the Tampa Bay Super Bowl LV Host Committee.

By the application deadline, which was February 14, hundreds of businesses had registered to participate in the program. The host committee will spend the next month screening applicants and creating a final list of businesses that will be profiled in the Business Connect Resource Guide, an online database of approved, registered businesses that helps the NFL, Super Bowl contractors and event producers to identify and select local businesses to partner with to produce Super Bowl LV events.

“Even if they don’t end up getting a contract with the Super Bowl, working with our organization can help expose them to other opportunities available to them,” said Hillsborough County Entrepreneur Collaborative Center Manager Lynn Kroesen.

The center offers entrepreneurs easy access to business service providers, resources, mentorship and specialty training. For more information, call 277-1393, or for the Collaborative Center, call 204-9267.

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Michelle Caceres
MIchelle Caceres has been writing for the Osprey Observer for seventeen years. She enjoys writing human interest pieces about inspiring members of the community who are working to better our community. She lives in FishHawk Ranch with her husband and recently became an empty-nester. When not writing, Michelle is serving her church community, reading and enjoying Florida's weather.