As coronavirus fades, major Butler County business expo returns after 2 years

One of the largest symbols of the region’s businesses returning to pre-coronavirus vitality is the revival of a local business expo as it approaches its first appearance in two years. The West Chester/Liberty Chamber Alliance event - shown here at Lakota West High School in 2019 - is one of the biggest in the area. (Provided Photo\Journal-News)
One of the largest symbols of the region’s businesses returning to pre-coronavirus vitality is the revival of a local business expo as it approaches its first appearance in two years. The West Chester/Liberty Chamber Alliance event - shown here at Lakota West High School in 2019 - is one of the biggest in the area. (Provided Photo\Journal-News)

One of the largest symbols of the region’s businesses returning to pre-coronavirus vitality is the revival of a local business expo as it approaches its first appearance in two years.

On July 13 about 100 exhibitors will line the expansive main hall of Lakota West High School to display their services and products to the public for the first time since 2019.

Canceled by the coronavirus pandemic precautions of 2020, the annual West Chester/Liberty Chamber Alliance Regional Business Expo is the largest such gathering along the Interstate 75 growth corridor between Cincinnati and Dayton, said Joe Hinson, chamber president and CEO.

“We are excited to welcome back our members and other business professionals to in-person events,” said Hinson. “Our community is ready. Our members are ready, and we’re ready to officially say ‘we’re open for business,” and thrilled to, once again, connect people and possibilities.”

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The event, which is free to the public, will run from noon to 4 p.m.

The Business Expo includes retailers, service providers, health related industries, financial institutions, restaurants, hotels, educational institutions, nonprofits and a variety of other businesses and organizations, chamber officials said.

Food will be available for purchase from local food trucks on site. Other opportunities will include health screenings provided by West Chester Hospital, the event’s community health partner, professional headshots from Ali Wolfe Photography, and collection of school supplies for the community’s “Stuff the Bus” program, a back to school backpack and school supply giveaway.

The chamber alliance is the region’s third largest chamber, representing the interests of over 750-member businesses and their more than 25,000 employees in West Chester and Liberty Twps.

The chamber’s partnership with the Lakota Local School District, which enrolls 16,800 students and is the largest suburban district in Southwest Ohio, is no coincidence said Hinson.

“As we say, ‘as Lakota goes, so go West Chester and Liberty townships,’” he said.

Lakota and its expanding partnership with the chamber led to Lakota West to the unusual move in 2019 to use the high school for the annual event.

“The West Chester/Liberty Chamber Alliance’s partnership with Lakota Local Schools — which extends decades — is very important to our chamber and our community. Business and education working together is essential for building a solid community foundation and economic sustainability — both support one another,” Hinson said.

“We outgrew (West Chester Twp.’s) Skatetown USA’s facility after 16 years, and Lakota West was a logical choice for us as we changed venues, based on our strong partnership, size of their facility and ideal location. Our private industry-public school partnership continues to be viewed as a leader in the state of Ohio.”

For more information go to the chamber’s website.