The Lehigh Valley Business Group is expanding to the Lehigh Valley.
The group, which was founded by Kevin Cope in 2011, is based heavily out of the Pocono Mountain area as of now, but is looking to expand into the Lehigh Valley.
The first meeting in the Lehigh Valley for this group was held on Wednesday morning at Perkins Restaurant in Allentown.
This meeting was designed to be mostly a networking event for local businesses to meet and develop contacts with other business owners in the area.
A wide range of businesses attended, ranging from The Literacy Center in Allentown to Merrill Lynch Wealth Management to Kraemer Schurman Advertising & Design.
“This group was founded on the idea of helping businesses, helping individuals, and helping the community,” said Cope. He went on to explain that his goal for this group is to spend a lot of time working within the community doing a variety of service projects and giving back to the residents.
Director of Business Development Kathy Haney opened the meeting with this subject and compared the Lehigh Valley Business Group to a local Chamber of Commerce.
“The Lehigh Valley Business Group is more community service-focused while a chamber is more business to business,” she stated.
Haney told the audience that the Lehigh Valley Business Group is working with the Nazareth Chamber of Commerce, but plans to focus most of their time and energy on working with non-profit organizations, individuals, families, and senior citizens.
Due to this meeting being just a kickoff meeting for the group in this region, most of the agenda items were events that have been recently held by the group or events that will be coming up in the fall.
Currently, the Lehigh Valley Business Group is working on creating a visually impaired trail for the residents of the Lehigh Valley. The group is working with the Wildlands Conservancy and the Center for Vision Loss and is on phase two of this project.
They are also working on coordinating a coat drive to be held in Emmaus to benefit the Allentown YMCA, the Women’s Center of Allentown, and various churches in the Lehigh Valley.
Haney said the group held a coat drive in the Pocono area last year and was able to collect over 1,500 coats to benefit various organizations.
Other events that the Lehigh Valley Business Group will be putting on in the near future are Barkfest and America on Wheels.
Barkfest will be held in cooperation with the Lehigh Valley Parks and Recreation Department and SimpleHands – ProCure. This event will be at Cedar Beach on September 8 from 12 -8 p.m.. Cope commented that 100% of the proceeds from this event will go towards the Allentown Parks and Recreation Department for the construction of a dog park located near Trout Creek.
The America on Wheels event will be held on August 21 from 5-8 p.m. at 5 N. Front Street. This event is a business to business mixer and 76 businesses have already signed up to participate in this event.
Please email any items for next month’s agenda to Kathy Haney at Busdevfirstname.lastname@example.org by August 10.
The next meeting is scheduled for August 28.