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More than a year in advance of November 2016, and the election cycle is already upon us.

As of July 2015, there were at least 16 high-profile Republican candidates who had already declared their intentions to run for our nation’s highest office. Add in some of the lesser-known individuals, and that total is closer to 30. On the Democratic side, fewer candidates have thrown their hats into the ring – but with no less fervor.

If the downside of an extended election period is non-stop negative campaign ads, then an upside is the plethora of business opportunities that arise from candidates desperate to secure votes. As a business owner or entrepreneur, this season represents a prized opportunity that only comes along once every four years. Now is the time to position your business or organization to take advantage of the millions of dollars that will flow through key states with a large swath of independent voters, like North Carolina.

Many minority business owners may hesitate or think twice about working the current political circuit; especially due to the large number of candidates who traditionally have not advocated for common causes or concerns within diverse communities. But in business it’s important to remember that the common color is green. Or as the experts say, ‘Follow the money.’

Regardless of their political persuasion, every candidate and campaign staff will have the need for some common products and routine services. They may include political consulting, research, polling, data analytics, focus group testing, printing services, Information Technology training and support, security, logistics, event staffing, advertising, audio-visual support, communications coaching, speech and voice training, political bloggers, tailors, janitorial and hospitality staff, maintenance technicians, and social media experts. The list goes on and on…

Most likely, there is something they need that you have. The time is now to strike while the iron is hot. If you’re not sure about how to approach a campaign staffer or introduce your business into the political process, reach out to staff members at The Institute and allow our business development programs to assist you in making the most out of this extended political process. For more information on the assistance available to you, visit www.TheInstituteNC.org.

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