Expo Reflects Optimism Among Salem Businesses

SALEM, Ohio – The business climate looks good this year for companies here as they continue to grow and increase their sales.

That was the consensus Wednesday among vendors at the Salem Business Expo held at the Boneshakers Banquet Center of the Timberlanes Complex. The Salem Area Chamber of Commerce was the sponsor.

“We want to bring members of the chamber together to build long term relationships with each other and the businesses in the area,” said Scott Jones, president of the chamber.

The business climate is “excellent” for Home Savings and Loan Co., said Brian Lippillo, a financial consultant at the Salem office of the bank. “The investment program is having the best year it’s had in the past three years.”

Denise Baker, mortgage loan specialist for Home Savings, noted mortgage rates remain at historic lows that are attractive to people who want to buy their first house or move to a larger residence.

“Business has been good,” reported Derek Rieser, managed print specialist for ComDoc. “We’re close to being on pace to set another record year.”

ComDoc, which joined the chamber last March, continues to see its business grow every year and has about half of the market share in the Mahoning Valley, said account manager Will Stolicny.

“The Valley is on a resurgence with a lot of activity in the way of manufacturing and service industries. It can only benefit everyone in the Valley,” Rieser said.

Other chamber members report their businesses are holding “steady with peaks and valleys,” as Joe Nelson put it. Nelson is business development manager for First Light Home Care.

“It’s not unusual during the holidays to start picking up more business,” Nelson said. “Our clients usually have a need that we could help with, but their family doesn’t identify it until they come to visit from out of state,” he said.

First Light Home Care remains in growth mode as reflected by its need of more caregivers to meet clients’ needs.

Less than a year old, Coy-Kamph Financial Group is growing, said its CEO, Susan Coy-Kamph. Since it opened last December, “Business has been going well,” Coy-Kamph said. She expects “business will start to explode a little more” next year. Growth at the enterprise could allow it to hire a service representative, she said.

Business could be even better for companies that make good use of social media platforms, advised Joe Belinsky.

Belinsky, business adviser for Ohio Small Business Development Centers, addressed the expo on how social media has changed the way companies market themselves.

The prevalence of smartphones and most Americans having one either on their person or close by, Belinsky said, means it’s easy for customers to quickly learn what’s available. And that’s transforming marketing.

“What are you doing that would cause people to want to look for you on their phone?” he asked.

“Your customers have a voice, and thanks to technology, a more powerful and influential one than any other time in history,” Belinsky said. “It’s time for your business to transform the customer service experience into a more social one,” he said.

Pictured: Joe Belinsky addressed the event. Scott Jones is president of the Salem Area Chamber of Commerce.

Copyright 2024 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.