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Lehigh Valley Meet The Buyers Expo joins small and large businesses

By LVEDC Staff on August 27, 2013

By SALLY HANDLON

For the past year plus, 12 area organizations that work with and support businesses in our community have joined together to plan a Lehigh Valley-wide “reverse” trade show. Titled Lehigh Valley Meet the Buyers Expo, this event encourages our larger business entities (private, government and municipal agencies) to meet our small businesses who can potentially provide local sourcing opportunities. The goal is to have 50 “buyers” available to meet with some of the more than 300 small businesses attending between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m.

Why is this important?

For our small business community, obtaining access to procurement and purchasing professionals in the larger businesses and agencies can be a full time effort. Since many of our small businesses have nine or less employees, dedicating the time and energy to researching and making contact can be formidable when customers, employees and production require daily attention. This event helps them to understand the types of products and services the larger businesses and agencies may be seeking and gives them the opportunity to pitch their business to the right buyers at one event.

For our larger business entities, they are able to meet, question and interact with smaller, local businesses that could potentially provide services and products that they were not aware of, and on a competitive value level.

For our greater Lehigh Valley community, the Expo provides an opportunity to strengthen our entire business community. The majority of increased employment effort will occur from existing business. With 72 percent of our business community being nine or less employees, the ability to become a product or service source for a larger entity will immediately provide an impact to increase business operations. And, if the larger business entities are able to obtain competitive products and services locally, they are reinforcing the community in which they conduct business – both for their own profitability and their employees. Also, if there are product or service needs of our larger business entities that are currently not being met locally, this event can provide a basis for consideration of new business offerings.

Although similar events have occurred in the past, none included the variety of buyers (private and public) that this Expo is providing or the major collaboration of business supporting agencies.

Following the Expo, there is a networking lunch with Judy Wicks, author, speaker and entrepreneur of sustainable business philosophy (White Dog Café, Philadelphia) for both Buyers and Expo attendees. Registration is separate for this event.

If you own a small business (or know of someone who does own), the website www.lvmeetthebuyers.com, provides all the details about the Expo and includes 3 online webinars from the pre-expo workshop series (Federal government procurement, PA COSTARS program and Preparing for the Expo), information on the Buyers that are attending (types of products/services that they are interested in) and the online registration form.  Or, if you represent a larger business entity that would like to participate as a Buyer, you can contact the Expo committee through the website as well.

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