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Gay Games eyes $50m in economic impact for northeast Ohio

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When the Gay Games come to northeast Ohio next August, 30,000 athletes and spectators are expected to descend upon the region, visiting the city’s attractions, patronizing area hotels and restaurants and using other services.
Organizers are making sure small businesses know the impact the games could have on them, as well as how they can get their names out there. A local staff of 10 organizers has hosted two events targeted at small business sponsorship. A third event will be held in Cleveland on Tuesday, August 27 at Stonetown Restaurant at 5:30 p.m.
"Gay Games 9 will have a $50 million economic impact on the region,” says Mary Zaller, director of development for the Gay Games. “I want as many small businesses as possible to get a piece of that pie.”
Small business sponsorships range from $500 to $14,000, making it affordable for companies of almost any size to get involved. “For just $500, a small business can be a sponsor of the Gay Games and get our logo on their website and their logo on our website, program and social media,” notes Zaller. “It gives small businesses the power to put themselves out there and show their support of the LGBT community and of equality and equal rights.”
Seventy-five percent of the events planned will take place in downtown Cleveland, with the remaining being held in Akron. “You don’t have to be gay, you don’t have to be good, you just have to be 18 to participate,” says Zaller. “We’re all about inclusion, participation and your personal best.”
Cleveland is the smallest city to ever host the Gay Games, which started in 1980 and takes place every four years. Previous host cities include San Francisco, New York, Chicago, Sydney, Amsterdam and Vancouver.

Source: Mary Zaller
Writer: Karin Connelly
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