A networking hub and platform for connecting with local businesses, the ninth annual Business Expo on November 2 at Tom’s Country Place in Avon brings together Lorain County Chamber of Commerce members across industries and guests. “The whole purpose of the B2B expo is to keep business local, and we sell out every year,” says Tony Gallo, the chamber’s president and CEO.

From 3:30 to 6:30 p.m., attendees can meet more than 115 exhibitors and mingle with business owners. Gallo expects at least 650 people to circulate through the halls — and they’re at the expo with a mind to develop business partnerships.

“Every year, there is usually at least one member who comes up to me to say, ‘I’m so glad we were here. I met someone and we already have an appointment scheduled,’” Gallo says.

He adds, “Ultimately, we all know someone who needs something that is on display at the expo, whether a banker, accountant, travel agent, real estate agent or service provider. There is a wide variety of business opportunities on display.”

Live coverage from WEOL and WOBL radio stations adds more exposure to business exhibitors, sponsors and the collaboration taking place on the expo floor.

“We’re working hard to make sure our local businesses thrive,” Gallo says, adding that he is known as “the guy who helps connect the dots” and refers businesses to local vendors and suppliers. “The chamber really is that connector, that’s what we exist for — to make sure that people know about your business and to help grow your business.”

Remember to bring business cards, Gallo adds. Even in our digital world, business cards are a helpful leave-behind and a helpful introduction tool. And, he urges exhibitors to step out from behind their display tables to encourage conversation, as well as listening. There’s a lot to learn about local business at the expo.

That includes finding out more about the Lorain County Chamber of Commerce and its benefits, including access to quality, group health insurance, business development workshops and a range of events. For instance, the Business Dialogue series held several times per year addresses relevant issues. The September 28 session focused on Resilience Reinvented: Empowering Businesses for an Unpredictable Future.

Ultimately, there is strength in numbers — member businesses supporting each other’s success, and Business Expo employees collaborating to keep business in the county.

We look forward to the expo every year, and it’s a great way for the chamber to give back to help small businesses grow,” Gallo says.