Why the Super Bowl Is Big for Small Business

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- The Super Bowl is a once a year event, but its big business for the local economies that host it each year.

This year in the Super Bowl's first-ever cold weather event, the Denver Broncos face off against the Seattle Seahawks at MetLife stadium in East Rutherford, N.J. Reports citing the Super Bowl Host Committee say the event will infuse between $550 million and $600 million into the New York-New Jersey economy. That said, there has been some criticism as whether that number is accurate, especially in the surrounding towns of East Rutherford.


Still if you think about all the logistics that go into planning the Super Bowl and events leading up to the game - from hotels and limo companies, to digital commercial printers, to cookie makers, to groceries and restaurants - there are plenty of local small businesses that are reaping the benefits from a New York-New Jersey Super Bowl. That means more jobs, both temporary and full time, in the tri-state area.

Here are four small businesses that are loving this year's Super Bowl.

Quaker Steak & Lube
Brick, N.J.

Kurt Pahlitzsch, director of operations for Quaker Steak & Lube's Brick, N.J. location is expecting a 35% increase in business. This comes not only from the take-out business he'll do for the Super Bowl, but from fans coming into the area that will keep the restaurant busy all weekend long.

Even with the franchise located an hour away from the stadium, "there's a lot of rollover with people coming in from out of town," Pahlitzsch said. "They're taking advantage of visiting family down by us. So not only on Super Bowl Sunday, but were also expecting Friday and Saturday to be above levels."

Quaker Steak & Lube is a Nascar-themed bar and restaurant known for its 28-different sauced wings, including the frightening Triple Atomic sauce. The establishment is expecting in-dining business alone to pick up about 20%, with catering and big bulk to-go orders jumping as well.

"I'm going from having two to three people working the to-go business to more than double - eight people are handling the take-out business," he says.

"I love having it in the metro area it brings a lot of traffic," Pahlitzsch said. "Not only does it help me [now] but in future weeks to come."

Make My Cake
Harlem, N.Y.

Aliyyah Baylor's family-owned bakery Make My Cake is providing 1,500 black and white cookies for the official Super Bowl tailgate party.

She got the contract for the cookies by applying through the Super Bowl Host Committee's Business Connect program, which fosters relationships between local women-owned and minority-owned businesses and the NFL and Super Bowl vendors.

Make My Cake specializes in Southern desserts and decorated cakes. It now has two locations - one that serves as the retail shop and cafe, and one that produces wholesale. Baylor, whose mother started the business out of her home 17 years ago, says the contract was easy to obtain and a validation of their family's business.

Winning the contract also means Baylor can showcase her business as a Super Bowl business, further incentivizing other customers to do business with them.

"The experience has been very positive," said Baylor, president of Make My Cake. "Once you start submitting the paperwork -- I haven't done it on that scale -- but it's encouraging to definitely seek those opportunities again. So I definitely would do it again."

With three full-time bakers, Baylor says the contract with the Super Bowl has allowed her to bring one part-time worker up to full time as well as another part-time worker.

"Usually we do a lot of seasonal [business]," she says, requiring them to hire temporary workers. Now, the two jobs she added are now permanent hires.

The Host Committee was looking for authentic New York-New Jersey desserts. "We bid to have that as one of the desserts," she stated. Baker and two team members will deliver the cookies the night before the event and then be a part of the event staff to help hand out cookies.

"It all adds to the excitement," she exclaimed. "It's wonderful to be a part of this!"

Niles Advertising and Display Solutions
Bronx, N.Y.

Niles Advertising & Display Solutions was also able to garner business through the Host Committee's Business Connect program as well.

Owner Wendell Niles says the firm expects to see a 5% to 7% increase in sales for the first-quarter as a result of the Super Bowl business. Niles Advertising worked on several graphic design, printing, laser signage and banners for the Super Bowl, including 25,000 plus custom fold-over Volunteer/Leadership cards that referred to protocol on customer service, code of conduct and other guides for staff and volunteers, he says. Niles Advertising also created various displays, banners and custom signage for workshop ID signs for Playbook Break-Out Sessions.

The vetting process for the business started all the way back in November 2012, when Niles says he received an email encouraging him to apply to the program.

The biggest challenge Niles says he encountered was figuring out how to best market his firm to the NFL. That meant researching which services his firm could provide that it didn't have. What he realized was that production and printing were big needs for Super Bowl vendors.

Bronx, N.Y.-based Niles was eventually awarded two of the four projects it bid on.

The firm has three employees at its main office and a satellite office in Charlotte, with two employees. Niles says he is looking to expand his business down there.

In addition to the Super Bowl business, Niles Advertising also does business with the New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation, New York City Office of Administrative Trails and Hearings, City University of New York, the New York Power Authority, New York Life and others.

Niles says the work done for the Super Bowl is an entry point into doing more business with the NFL and hopefully with the 32 teams because it provides a good reference point for future business. "The Super Bowl is only once a year," Niles said. "It is nothing but a big event and there's a lot of things required to pull of the event but the ongoing requirements of the NFL and the leads [there] is what we really want."

Westside Market NYC
Manhattan and Maywood, N.J.

Employees that work at the five Westside Market NYC locations have been prepping hard for Super Bowl Sunday. Each year it sells roughly 1,500 pounds of finger foods, 1,500 pounds of chicken wings, 1,000 pounds of salsa, 800 pounds of cookies and 800 fruit bowls - all which are cooked, baked and put together on sight.

With a local Super Bowl, Westside Market NYC is getting ready for additional customers, locals and visitors, to be shopping at their stores that Sunday. "There is some sort of immediacy that the Super Bowl is here - [people] feel compelled to have an even bigger party. It just feels closer and is even more hyped than usual," says Ian Joskowitz, COO of Westside Market NYC. "That's more people we've got to feed."

With 572 total employees, Westside Market NYC has four locations in Manhattan and one in Maywood, N.J., just 10 minutes from where the Super Bowl is being held.

Overall, the company is expecting about a 30% pickup in sales from a normal weekend. However, Joskowitz is particularly eager to see the sales in the New Jersey location.

"The business really increases dramatically the day before and on the day of the Super Bowl. All of the locations - it's like clockwork," he says, adding that the grocery stores will do about half its Super Bowl business in catering orders.

--Written by Laurie Kulikowski in New York.

Disclosure: TheStreet's editorial policy prohibits staff editors, reporters and analysts from holding positions in any individual stocks.

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