The NFL is looking to help put hundreds of Minnesota businesses to work during the 2018 Super Bowl, and businesses owned by minorities, women, veterans and LGBTQ have a unique way to get started.
On Friday, NFL Business Connect kicked off its Super Bowl LII program, which registers minority businesses in order to provide a range of services for to the NFL and it's contractors during the Minneapolis Super Bowl in 2018.
"I can’t wait until next year," said Manny Gonzalez, owner of Manny's Tortas. “People from all over the world are going to be here, so that’s going to be exciting. I can’t wait."
Gonzalez is hoping to offer catering during any number of Super Bowl related events in 2018. He and at least 400 businesses have already registered to be part of the program and the NFL expects more than 1,000 to sign up before the deadline in April.
“The platform that the Super Bowl will bring here, not only locally, but worldwide, is absolutely tremendous," said Esera Tuaolo, a former Vikings Defensive Tackle, who spoke at the event.
Though not all businesses will come away with Super Bowl work contracts, the Business Connect program provides training and networking to all those who take part.
"Our job with the Business Connect program is to teach our local and diverse business market on how to do business with the NFL," said Alex Tittle, Vice President of Business Connect.
“I think that’s great and for me, being young and jumping into the business world," said Labresha Saulsberry, who recently started Heartfelt Praises Dance Studio.
Saulsberry is hoping the NFL or its contractors will consider her as they book entertainment around their events, but she's also just hoping to learn from the experience.
"I think this is a great opportunity just to see how to (network)," Saulsberry said.
Businesses still have time to register for the Business Connect program. For more information on click here.