help build the $200 million Olympic stadium in 1996.
They’ve mobilized, formed partnerships, and turned to community organizations such as the Alliance of Business Leaders & Entrepreneurs (ABLE), a nonprofit comprised of Chicago’s leading black CEOs.
“We’re the city to get the Olympics,” says Anthony Kitchens, president of ABLE and a member of Chicago 2016’s business opportunities task force. “I think there will be tremendous opportunity for the small business community, and I’m hopeful that leadership remembers how it sold this—as an inclusive and diverse proposal.”
Others such as Robert J. Dale, chief executive of R.J. Dale Advertising and Public Relations (No. 14 on the B.E. Advertising Agencies list with $43.9 million in billings), aren’t that optimistic.
“We’re trying to catch up and be included,” Dale says, noting that contracts have already been doled out for the Olympic branding campaign, which is visible throughout the city. “It’s not too late too participate, but it’s too late to get our fair share.”