There was no traffic, no honking horns or stressed drivers, but on Main Street in downtown Oakland Park there was a great flurry of activity. What was this all about? Oakland Parkers were visiting the first Health, Wealth, and Small Business Expo promoted by the Oakland Park Business Association (OPBA) that took place on March 14.
Oakland Park has become a vibrant and dynamic city, thanks to the efforts of both its public administration and its local businesses. The event brought together entrepreneurs, business owners, and individuals from all walks of life to explore new opportunities for growth and development.
Attendees had the opportunity to acquaint themselves with a variety of local businesses and take advantage of free health screenings. The event was a true testament to the strength and vitality of Oakland Park’s business community.
The Oakland Park Business Association Makes Its Mark
The Oakland Park Business Association officially opened for business less than a year ago. It held its inaugural meeting right in front of where the expo took place in May of 2022.
Since then Peter Jackson, the entrepreneur behind its founding has been busy, busy, busy making things happen. In addition to allying with the City of Oakland Park to organize and host the expo, Jackson has published Oakland Park City Guide and Business Finder, a print guide that highlights all that Oakland Park has to offer while supporting the mission of small businesses.
Let the Expo begin!
The City of Oakland Park has long endorsed the belief that the business of Oakland Park is small business. In addition to supporting Jackson’s endeavor, they launched a business newsletter, the Loakl Entrepreneur, and have made great strides in working toward making the process for opening a business simple and easy. When one of those businesses opens, the City celebrates with a ribbon cutting, and the opening of the Expo was celebrated with just as much fanfare.
Oakland Park Mayor, Aisha Gordon, was present to cut the ribbon alongside Jackson, punctuating another important milestone in the growth of the City’s business community.
Exhibitors, Health Screenings and More - oh My!
The Expo was possible because the OPBA and the City sponsored it, but also because of its sponsors and the participation of over 30 small businesses.
There were major sponsors like the Fort Lauderdale Behavioral Health Center and Agape Behavioral Healthcare, and Lowe’s Home Improvement. There were 12 other health exhibitors, including but not limited to Chen Senior Medical Center, Island City Smiles, Sunshine Chiropractic and others. Other participants included LivingInOaklandPark.com, Maggie’s Favorite Bakery, Kiwanis International, the Haitian American Chamber of Commerce, myself as a REALTOR®, Paul Davis Roofing, Koala Insulation and many more – oh my!
One thing is for certain, if this level of participation in the first Expo is any indication of the things that are to come, next year is going to be even bigger and even better.
Small Business Is the Lifeblood
Small business expos like the one hosted by Oakland Park Business Association play a crucial role in promoting economic development. This kind of fair provides an opportunity for small business owners and entrepreneurs to showcase their products and services to a wider audience, which can help increase their visibility and attract new customers. It is also a platform for networking with other business owners and professionals, sharing ideas, and building partnerships that can lead to further growth and expansion.
For the City’s economy as a whole, small businesses are its lifeblood and this kind of expo, supporting small businesses and their growth is the reason for being of the Oakland Park Business Association and exactly what Oakland Park represents.