MILWAUKEE — The economic impact from the Democratic National Convention on southeast Wisconsin was projected to be more than $100 million. Now the outlook seems much different.
The event has been pushed to August, and moved from Fiserv Forum to the Wisconsin Center. Major safety measures will be taken including a virtual component.
We spoke to one of the biggest Milwaukee-based companies involved in the DNC to see how their company has evolved the months since the pandemic began.
Clifton Phelps and his two broths own JCP Construction. They landed the coveted bid to build out everything needed inside Fiserv Forum for the Democratic National Convention.
“We were slated to go into the areas that had the open spaces and build out media tents. We look at the entire scope so whether that's bringing electricity. It was projected to be an absolutely high powered event,” said Phelps.
Phelps explains how COVID-19 put some plans on hold. This includes designing the stage.
“Unfortunately we didn’t get that far. One day it went from designing three times a week, to almost nothing. So, it was definitely an adjustment.”
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“Honestly, the DNC committee is still figuring out what it's going to look like so there's a lot of input that has to happen with a lot of people that don't live in Milwaukee. Once it's figured out, we get to know,” said Phelps.
To make up for lost time and money, JCP quickly pivoted to find other big projects to work on this summer. They know how to remain strong, “We started our company in the middle of the recession of 2008 going into 2009 so we understand what it's like to be nimble.”
We have covered how much JCP Construction does a lot of reach-out efforts to help our community. Headquartered near Vine and Doctor Martin Luther King Junior Drive, the company gives MPS students hands-on experience through "Spark Tours." Click here see the group that visited in February.
They are looking forward to them coming back soon. Phelps feels there will be a lot more to talk about, “Whether it's them trying to graduate from high school or fast forward to us trying to make sure that we can get through time during this pandemic, which no one predicted.”
Phelps is confident he and his brothers will navigate their way through this pandemic as a family stronger than ever before. This is his advice for other Milwaukee entrepreneurs: “Feel confident. Know that almost every other business is struggling with you! You're not in the dark!”
To learn more about JCP Construction, click here.
For more inspiring messages from Milwaukee businesses pivoting from the pandemic, click here.