Essex County Executive DiVincenzo Announces Four Local Small Businesses with Ties to Super Bowl XLVIII
Essex County Office of Small Business Development and Affirmative Action Shared Information about Opportunities with Business Community
Essex County, NJ – While most of the attention during Super Bowl XLVIII at MetLife Stadium will focus on the match-up between the Seattle Seahawks and Denver Broncos, there are four Essex County small businesses that have received contracts with the National Football League and are making sure the operations and events surrounding the big game on February 2nd are just as super. Essex County Executive Joseph N. DiVincenzo, Jr. noted that the four vendors landed contracts with the NFL after being notified of the business opportunities through the Essex County Office of Small Business Development and Affirmative Action. The four businesses to receive Super Bowl contracts are Vonda’s Kitchen from Newark, MZM Construction and Management from Newark, Eagle Detective Agency from South Orange and Symphony Printing from Belleville.
“The Super Bowl is an international event that is more than just a football game. The amount of activities and special events that surround the game create a great deal of economic development. Our Office of Small Business Development and Affirmative Action served as the link between the Super Bowl Committee and the Essex County business community by providing information about business opportunities at the Super Bowl,” DiVincenzo said. “We are pleased that the NFL Super Bowl Committee recognized the professionalism and first class services being provided by these four Essex County businesses. These contracts give our small businesses the opportunity to promote their companies and provide jobs for local residents,” he noted.
“I am pleased that the Essex County Office of Small Business Development and Affirmative Action could serve as a conduit with the Essex County business community and raise awareness about opportunities to work with the NFL on the Super Bowl,” said Deborah E. Collins, Esq., Director of the Essex County SBDAA, who also served as a member of the Super Bowl Host Committee Business Advisory Board. “Small businesses make up the backbone of our local economy and opportunities such as working with the NFL can expose them to larger audiences and help them expand and grow their businesses,” she added.
Symphony Printing, led by Lee Johnson, said he learned about potential business opportunities through the Essex County SBDAA. The experience has been very rewarding for Johnson, who has completed several large printing jobs for the Super Bowl and other events related to the game. Besides the contract, Johnson has attended a number of workshops hosted by the NFL, where he has established relationships with other vendors and suppliers, and gained valuable insight from guest speakers who have included Disney executives and NFL alumni who now own their own businesses.
“This has been a very good experience for us. The NFL is probably the largest entity that we have done business with. Our relationship with the NFL has been great and they have been pleased with our work,” Johnson said. “It’s nice to see that the NFL is giving businesses like mine contracts to perform work, but they are educating us on how to expand our business and promoting networking with other companies. Opportunities like this will help us but it also helps the region,” he added.
The Eagle Detective Agency, headed by James Davis, has been providing 50 security guards at various venues where pre-Super Bowl events have taken place since January 20th and will have 150 of its staff at MetLife Stadium when the game is played Sunday, February 3rd. “This certainly is a big responsibility,” Davis said. “We’ve had to hire additional staff, so this has helped empower and enhance people by putting them to work at a very high-profile event. We’re hoping this will enhance our business and help us receive larger contracts in the future,” he added.
Vonda’s Kitchen, owned by Vonda McPherson, has worked on several NFL-related events. To date, Vonda’s Kitchen has catered trade shows for the NFL at the Meadowlands and at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center, feeding over 500 people at each event. On Super Bowl game day, she will be catering the tailgate party at the Meadowlands Racetrack for 10,000 people.
McPherson’s relationship with the NFL began with a referral from Deborah E. Collins, Esq., Director of the Essex County Office of Small Business Development and Affirmative Action, who represents Essex County on the nine-member Super Bowl Business Advisory Board. "She referred me to the Super Bowl Committee and was instrumental in my getting an opportunity to cater the trade shows, which led to my getting the tailgate party contract," McPherson said. “I'm so excited about the opportunity that has been presented for me. I thank Essex County so very much for putting my name in the right hands! This experience has been a positive one and I am so grateful for this opportunity,” she said.
MZM Construction and Management, which is led by President and CEO Marjorie Perry, received a contract to remove snow from the seating bowl, concourses, stair ramps and plaza areas at MetLife Stadium. The East Rutherford stadium is not foreign for Perry’s firm, which worked on a project to ensure worker safety during construction of the stadium.
"When Super Bowl goes looking, you have to be ready. I was already in their system because I helped build MetLife Stadium and understood the game. When they found this out, they gave me the job,” Perry said. “While acknowledging that it's hard to be a new kid on the block when bidding on Super Bowl XLVIII business, you have to be persistent, attend the workshops and keep bidding,” she noted.
TheEssex County Office of Small Business Development and Affirmative Actionhas a mission to ensure equal opportunity in the procurement and contracting processes of Essex County through strategic partnerships, outreach, technical assistance, and collaborative partnerships. For information about future programs, please call the Office of Small Business Development and Affirmative Action at 973-621-2011.
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