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KANSAS CITY, Mo. — If you want your business to take part in the NFL Draft the clock is ticking. The draft is expected to have between $100 million and $200 million economic impact on Kansas City.

Of course you can’t have a national event in Kansas City without barbecue. So Gates BBQ has been waiting to see what opportunities there may be for local companies to take part in events surrounding the NFL draft and how it will work.

“I think the locals will truly appreciate and want to be a part of the NFL Draft. It’s such a big deal its such a huge event that you would not want to miss it,” Arzelia Gates said.

The NFL, in partnership with the Kansas City Sports Commission, recently launched its Business Connect program, looking for up to 100 local and diverse businesses.

“Of course we are looking for food and beverage but there’s electricity needs, golf carts, staging, bike racks. When you go to event like Boulevardia or Irish Fest and you see everything that goes into the event there are opportunities there that we will need for the NFL Draft as well,” Kathy Nelson, President and CEO of the Kansas City Sports Commission and Visit KC, said.

Companies must be at least 51% owned by a minority, woman, veteran, or LGBTQ+ individual and be certified. You have to had a physical office in Kansas City, Missouri since 2019.

Whether you are supplying catering or cabling, tenting or trailers, applicants should know the draft will bring in hundreds of thousands of visitors.

“This is a large scale event, we don’t want to do damage to a company. If you are too small as much as we want you to participate, we also know it’s not good for them and good for the event itself.”

Even restaurants like Gates say there are decisions to be made whether to pack up and go the draft or hope the draft’s visitors find them. But owners are looking forward to the prospect.

“Football is exciting in and of itself to see the people coming from out of town, you meet so many people. So the whole thing is going to be such a big thrill we’re excited and I think KC is really ready for that,” Gates said.

Applications can be filed here. The deadline is October 7.

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