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Lehigh Valley Meet the Buyers Expo Connects Small Businesses with Procurement Professionals

By Colin McEvoy on September 29, 2017

More than 250 businesses attended the last Meet the Buyers Expo in 2015.

More than 250 businesses attended the last Meet the Buyers Expo in 2015.

Do you own a small business? How would you like the opportunity to meet face-to-face with multiple private industry professionals and procurement officers, all in one place?

The bi-annual Lehigh Valley Meet the Buyers Expo offers that very opportunity, allowing attendees to meet with more than 45 professionals to discuss business opportunities, develop leads, and discuss procurement deals for products and services.

The event will be held Wednesday, Oct. 18, from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the ArtsQuest Center at Steelstacks at 101 Founders Way in Bethlehem. Register online at lvmeetthebuyers.com.

The Lehigh Valley Economic Development Corporation (LVEDC) is among the sponsors of this event.

Some of the Lehigh Valley’s largest companies are among the buyers participating this year, including Air Products, B. Braun, Capital BlueCross, Crayola, Guardian Life Insurance of America, Lehigh Valley Health Network, Lutron Electronics, Mack Trucks, Olympus, PPL, Sands Casino Resort Bethlehem, St. Luke’s University Health Network, and UGI Utilities.

Sally Handlon, president of Handlon Business Resources and Meet the Buyers Expo steering committee member, said research has not found another community with a similar event of this scope. She said it requires collaboration on many levels: partners, sponsors, buyers, and attendees.

“The Lehigh Valley business community has maintained in down times and grown in times that others find challenging, in many respects due to our collaboration (and) greater good philosophy,” said Handlon, a member of the LVEDC Local Sourcing and Business Diversity Council.

“Collaboration in the Lehigh Valley has long been a business community strength since the 1950s,” she said, “whether it was the industrial park concept, the formation of Lehigh Valley Economic Development Corporation, the marketing of the Lehigh Valley versus individual communities, or the combined voice of our legislators in supporting Lehigh Valley initiatives.”

If you would like your business to be included as a “buyer,” contact Handlon to provide your contact information. You will receive a follow-up email.

Registration for the expo begins at 7:30 a.m., and the expo floor will open at 8:30 a.m. Coffee and breakfast breads will be available until 10:30 a.m., and the Mike & Ike’s Bistro will be open throughout the event.

Handlon expressed thanks to the nine sponsors of the expo, including LVEDC, the Allentown Economic Development Corporation, the Community Action Development Corporations of Allentown and Bethlehem, the Lehigh University Small Business Development Center, the Lehigh Valley Workforce Development Board, the Manufacturers Resource Center, the Nazareth-Bath Regional Chamber of Commerce, and the Slate Belt Chamber of Commerce.

Don Cunningham: Lehigh Valley is 65th Largest Economy in America

This column, written by LVEDC President and CEO Don Cunningham, originally appeared in The Morning Call and on the newspaper's website on September 27, 2017. (Click here t[...]

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Lehigh ValleyQuick Facts

By the Numbers
$43.3 Billion

2020 Gross Domestic Product

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City Center Lehigh Valley
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10.6% of Labor Force
Employed in Manufacturing

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Lehigh Valley Health Network
By the Numbers
$3.8 Billion

Exports in 2019

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Air Products
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Lehigh Valley Electricians
By the Numbers
$66,865

Median Household Income

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PPL Electric Utilities
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676,700

Population

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Olympus
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347,612

Labor Force

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26.6% of Labor Force
Employed in "Eds & Meds" sectors

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5,073

Technology Patents

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UGI
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Magestic Realty Co
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NFI
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14% of the total community college degrees awarded in PA

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$7.1 Billion

Manufacturing Contribution to GDP

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Truist
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69th largest metropolitan area in the U.S. by population

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10,754 degrees awarded by Lehigh Valley colleges (2017-18 academic year)

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St. Lukes University Health Network
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82,270 employed in "Eds & Meds" sectors

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149,000

Population between ages 18 and 34

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FirstEnergy