|PHOTO COURTESY OF KATHARINE HOLLAND
By Maureen McEvoy
The America‚Äôs Cup is now underway in San Francisco, with the first World Series races recently held in August and continuing October 2-7 during Fleet Week. But the biggest races are still to come, when the Louis Vuitton Cup, Challenger Series and Finals hit the Bay in 2013.
Along with these races will come many opportunities for local firms looking to do business with the Cup and its partners.
‚ÄúBusiness opportunities are coming to San Francisco with the America‚Äôs Cup, and local firms are ready to benefit,‚ÄĚ said Chamber President & CEO Steve Falk. ‚ÄúThis is an exciting time for the America‚Äôs Cup and for Bay Area businesses.‚ÄĚ
The America‚Äôs Cup is one of the largest sporting competitions in the world, so city and Cup officials expect the series of sailing regattas will create thousands of jobs and generate millions in economic activity across the region. Products and services for developing event facilities, housing and supporting racing teams, and hosting and entertaining spectators will be needed to support the world-class sporting events and the thousands of visitors who will come to watch them.
According to the workforce plan now in place for the America‚Äôs Cup, local businesses will receive priority in the bidding process for many Cup-related projects. The America‚Äôs Cup Event Authority (ACEA) will award at least 30 percent of certain race-related contracts to small local businesses and put local residents into at least half of certain new entry-level hires. Special provisions are also in place to enable local businesses to gain from event-related construction and temporary installation projects.
‚ÄúThe 34th America‚Äôs Cup will provide a number of employment and economic development opportunities,‚ÄĚ said Event Authority Chief Operations Officer Tom Huston. ‚ÄúSan Franciscans and local businesses will have access to these opportunities generated over the next two years.‚ÄĚ
To help boost local business participation, the Chamber has partnered with the America‚Äôs Cup to help promote race-related opportunities, streamline the procurement process and connect contractors with local businesses in San Francisco and across the nine-county Bay Area.
Working out of the newly-opened America‚Äôs Cup One-Stop-Shop, located on Pier 23 at the Port of San Francisco, the Chamber is also serving as an in-house resource for Cup competitors seeking to connect with local products and services.
‚ÄúThe Chamber is proud to partner with the America‚Äôs Cup to make sure that local and small businesses can take full advantage of economic opportunities coming to our city,‚ÄĚ said Chamber Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer Leslie Milloy. ‚ÄúWe are committed to providing an inclusive, responsive and transparent process that will increase local business participation and help drive job and economic growth throughout the region.‚ÄĚ
Businesses interested in working with the America‚Äôs Cup should register with the event-contracting portal, AC Business Connect at http://sf.americascup.com/business. The One-Stop Shop is open Monday- Friday, 10am-2pm, in the America‚Äôs Cup offices on Pier 23 at the Port of San Francisco. For more information, contact the Chamber at firstname.lastname@example.org or 415-992-7810.