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Getting back to business

Now that gathering restrictions are easing up in Hampton Roads, and it is time to get back to business.

The Hampton Roads Chamber held it’s fifth annual Suffolk B2B Expo Sept. 22 at the Hub 757. This expo is normally held in May, but due to COVID-19, the date was rescheduled.

“This is our first live event since COVID-19 shut everything down in March,” said Diane Raihle, senior manager member development at Hampton Roads Chamber. “We are taking safety measures to make people feel more comfortable to come out and start networking again.”

The B2B Expo hosted 17 businesses ready to make connections. Each business had a table with information, goodies, and giveaways to promote their company and make an impression.

“This is an event where businesses can show off their wares,” Raihle said. “Some use it for networking or marketing. It’s just a good way for people to meet face to face.”

Wilson Home Health Service occupied one of the tables. Being a new business that started in 2019, founder Lennis Wilson took the opportunity to share her passion for pairing adults with disabilities with a home that will care for them. Attending at her table was her brother Anthony Thomas Wilson who has a mental disability and is what encouraged her to start this business.

“I love what I do,” Wilson said. “Business has been good, and we have been able to interact and network with people here.”

Other businesses in attendance included ABNB Federal Credit Union, Adele Diamond, Hackworth Reprographics Inc, Mosquito Joe, Southern Bank and Trust Company, South Bay Communications and Security, Avron Staffing, BCS Voice and Data, Identify Yourself, Madam CFO Inc, Matrix Accounting, Music Makes You Happy Entertainment, National University, PinkSlyer Community Outreach, Troy University and Vanguard Cleaning Systems of Hampton Roads.

The chamber took precautions to make sure everyone could connect safely. Temperatures were taken at the door, tables were distanced and everyone in the building wore a mask who was able.

“This event has the best parts of us as a chamber being able to do something in person for the business community while following guidelines,” said Tage Counts, chamber vice president of membership development. “The combination of the business community being safe and being able to see people not in front of a camera. I know everyone is glad to take this opportunity to be able to connect again.”

The B2B Expo is open to the public in Hampton Roads, though only members can be vendors. To become a member, call 757-664-2504.