By Melody Vallieu
TROY — Businesses came together with the community Thursday afternoon to introduce themselves and make residents aware of what they have to offer.
Nearly 80 businesses participated in the biennial Troy Area Chamber of Commerce’s Business Expo on Thursday, hosted at Hobart Arena.
The event allows Troy and area businesses to network with community members — and each other — during the four-hour event.
Staff at the longtime Troy business Miami Acres Animal Hospital said they have been a part of the event since its inception.
“We come to just get out there and let people know we are here, who we are and what we offer,” said Lori Daniels, a vet tech at Miami Acres.
Daniels said during the expo, staff get to talk to potential customers and even offer some educational information during the event. She said they have seen success from involvement in the expo, with new customers for their boarding, grooming and veterinarian services over the years.
Zachary Reeves, a home care consultant with Home Instead Senior Care of Vandalia, which services Northern Dayton through Miami County, said they are a new business to the area and the expo was a great way to introduce themselves.
While Home Instead is a longtime business, the Vandalia office opened only 18 months ago he said, and staff are working to make residents aware of the company’s services, which include non-medical in-home care for seniors, Reeves said.
“To us, it’s personal,” Reeves said. “We’re here to help the community and we want to get the word out that we’re here.”
Susan Walker-Hemm, director of development and marketing at Hospice of Miami County, said the organization participates in both the chamber’s business expo and its non-profit expo.
“We come to reach out and remind people that we are the only non-profit, mission driven hospice provider in the county,” Walker-Hemm said. “We want people to reach out to us in their time of need — and we will be there to serve them, just like we have for the past 33 years.”
Visitors enjoyed freebies throughout the event — from pens and paper to wings and cheese samples — and everything in-between.
Ruth Bowman of Troy brought her daughter and grandson to Hobart Arena to support the businesses and community, she said. She said she had forgotten about the event, which she has attended every time, but saw the reminder on Hobart Arena’s sign. She said she appreciates the number of businesses the city has to offer.
“Because of the amount of businesses in Troy, you rarely have to go out of town for something or services,” said Bowman, toting her bag of free goodies. “I really appreciated that.”
Donna Elko of Troy, a realtor with Coldwell Banker Heritage Realty, said she came to the 2016 Business Expo to network with others.
“I wanted to connect with businesses and get more acquainted with them,” said Elko, who said it was her first time at the expo as a visitor, as they have previously had a booth.
Troy Mayor Mike Beamish could be seen roaming the aisles of the expo, visiting with visitors — and even sneaking a snack here and there. He said the expo is good for everyone involved.
“What makes events like this great is that it is a chance to showcase businesses — both big and small,” Beamish said. “To have an arena such as we do, that allows us to host an event of this caliber, that is amazing all in itself.
“This kind of event just goes to show what makes Troy Troy,” he said.
Troy Area Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Kathi Roetter agrees, deeming the 2016 Business Expo a sucess. She said guests and businesses alike seemed to be enjoying themselves during the course of the event.
“It gives the community a chance to connect with Troy businesses — and businesses to connect with other businesses,” Roetter said. “This is a premier event for businesses, always well attended, and the chamber staff truly appreciates all the support.”
Roetter said she also was proud that the chamber partnered with Troy Ford and the Troy-Miami County Public Libary for the Ford Motor Company’s “Drive 4 UR Community” program in an effort to raise money for Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library, Miami County Affiliate. For every test drive taken from Hobart Arena’s parking lot on Thursday, Ford Motor Company donated $20 to fill some of the necessary funding needs of the program, which offers free books each month to children enrolled in the program from birth to 5 years old.
For more information oin the program, visit troypubliclibrary.org.
Reach Melody Vallieu at [email protected] or call (937) 552-2131.