The first Meet the Buyers Expo is underway at SteelStacks in Bethlehem today.
Sally Handlon of Handlon Business Resources, who helped organize the event, said a large crowd has turned out, keeping the manufacturing, corporate and government buyers busy.
"Everybody's dance card is full," Handlon said. "… Even though many of the buyers have all of their appointments filled, a lot of them are squeezing people in between scheduled appointments."
The good news of the day is that the two federal government buyers were able to attend, thanks to the end of the shutdown. Handlon said their ability to participate was in question for a while, but everything worked out in time.
In total, more than 40 buyers are at the event to meet with small-business professionals who are seeking to grow their market share with larger contracts.
Tina Smith, president of the Nazareth-Bath Area Chamber of Commerce and one of the organizers of the expo, called the event an exciting opportunity for small business.
"The chance to meet with key purchasers for businesses in the Valley does not happen on a daily basis," she said.
Other organizers of today's event include the Women and Minorities Business Opportunity Council of the Greater Lehigh Valley Chamber of Commerce, Manufacturers Resource Center, Community Action Committee of the Lehigh Valley and Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Northeastern Pennsylvania.
Meet the Buyers continues until 2:30 p.m. today.
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