Arizona companies looking to cash in through Super Bowl Business Connect program

PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) — The parties, events and Super Bowl will flood our Arizona economy with millions of dollars. As a result, businesses are jockeying to maximize their success. Single mother Imelda Hartley says she’s ready to capitalize on the Super Bowl exposure.

Hartley owns a catering company called Happy Tamales. Right now, she rents space in a commercial kitchen but dreams of one day owning her own, with childcare to keep families close. “When we’re working 10-12 hours. We don’t get to see, hug and kiss them, and that’s what I’m trying to do. In order to do that, I need to make a lot of money,” said Hartley.

So to make a lot of money, she must sell a lot of tamales. She plans to do that during the Super Bowl. She is one of some 200 Arizona businesses the NFL and Arizona Super Bowl Host Committee selected for the Super Bowl 57 Business Connect program. The businesses are all owned by minorities, women, veterans, or members of the LGBTQ+ community. The NFL could use its services.

“I am honored because as a minority, it is so hard to be known in the community, people to know what I’m trying to do trying to create a difference. You know, sometimes we don’t get the chance,” said Hartley.

In 1996, the Super Bowl brought a little more than $300 million to the Valley economy. That number grew to $500 million in 2008, and in 2015, $720 million.

“This is really the pinnacle economic boon week for us having the Open and having the Super Bowl back to back in the same day essentially. It’s just economically such a big deal, said Chris Camacho, President & CEO of the Greater Phoenix Economic Council (GPEC).

Small businesses get it, and they’re gearing up. Hartley says she’ll be ready with her hot tamales. “We’re going to be selling for one week outside in Downtown Phoenix to the public,” said Hartley. “I’m just so excited to have my name out there,” she said.

The business connect program chose businesses in the event industry like audio-visual, catering, florists, printing and security. Those Arizona-owned businesses are then highlighted in a resource guide for the NFL to hire while in town for the Super Bowl.

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