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Business Connection

 

March 2014

lancasterchamber.org

Lancaster Chamber of Commerce

 Executive Board

                    
Chairman of the Board
Gene Melchers, Melchers Construction Co.

Chair Elect
Tamara Stoebe, Prudential Troth Realtors

Monica Grado - Treasurer
George's Cleaners

Ann Hill - Past Chairman of the Board
Business Mastermind Queen

Paul Kinison - Vice Chair
Aerotech News

Josh Mann - Vice-Chair
Mojave Partners

Dr. Douglas Weber - Secretary
Douglas B. Weber, DDS

Sandy Smith - Ex-Officio
Chief Operating Officer  
  
Board of Directors
                 
Chris Chapleau - American Business Machines

 

Sgt. Theresa Dawson - Lancaster Sheriff's Dept.

 

Rosemary Mann - Camille's Sidewalk Cafe

 

Paul Porteus - Prospect Mortage, LLC

 

Nelson Rasse - High Desert Broadcasting

 

Bridget Razo - Antelope Valley College

 

Gina Rossall - Westside Union School District

 

Lynn Roth - SOL Graphix, Inc.

 

Dave Saltman - Passantino-Andersen

 

Chris Spicher - Antelope Valley Florist

 

Stan Turner - Edwards Federal Credit Union

  
Business After Hours Mixer

 
 
Business After Hours Mixers Will Now Be Hosted Quarterly

 

Beginning in 2014, the Lancaster Chamber of Commerce will transition from Monthly Mixers to Quarterly Mega-Mixers!  Based on feedback from many of our members, we have made the decision to plan large-scale business mixers  that will draw 100 or more members. With Mega-Mixers, your opportunity to network with others is greatly increased as these mixers are large-scale and are FREE to our members!  

 

If you are interested in hosting a mixer at your place of business, please contact Sandy at the Lancaster Chamber office for more information:

(661) 948-4518 

Click here for Chamber Events Calendar

We Would Like To Thank Our First Mega-Mixer
Host of 2014
 The University of Antelope Valley

  

A huge thanks to all of the nearly 100 people who attended our first quarterly Mega-Mixer at the University of

 Antelope Valley! 

As we continue to find ways to bring more value to our members, we feel that this event clearly showed that we are on the right track! Thank you so very much to Marco and Sandra Johnson and the wonderful UAV staff for the beautiful venue, the wonderful food, and the incredible service! We appreciate you very much!

 

 

 

  

We Would Also Like To Thank Our
Mega-Mixer
   
Raffle Prize Sponsors 

 

  

Eli Colvin

ADT Security

  

Tamara Stoebe 

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices

  

Daniel Seny

LegalShield

 

Dale & Mary Majors

Care Pest Solutions

 

Chris Spicher

Antelope Valley Florist

 

John Shaff

AV Chem-Dry

 

Douglas Cain

Antelope Ambulance Service

 

Lynn Roth

SOL Graphix

 

Terr Roth

Dignity Eastside

 

Robert Wolf

Robert Wolf Insurance & Financial Services

 

Frank & Chris Cole

 Cartridge Hut

 

Javanna Palm 

It Works! Global

 

Gia Motti

The Inspective Detective

 

Bengamin Bahrami  

 AAMCO Lancaster Auto Repair Group

 

Shirley Griffiths
Panache Salon

 

Susie Quinland

Mayflower Gardens

 

Jennifer Murad

AV Fairgrounds

 

Gary & Karen Bell

Miller Bell Media

 

Nelson Rasse

High Desert Broadcasting

 

Chuck Simons

Chuck Simons Realty

 

Yalana Aielo

Cabi Designer Clothing

 

John 

 AV Biz Pro

 


A Special Thank You 

to Our Fantastic

Ambassadors 
 

  

 We appreciate all of your efforts!

For more information on becoming an Ambassador
please call the Chamber: (661) 948-4518

  

 

 Law Offices of

 

THOMPSON VON TUNGELN

A Professional Corporation

 

*CERTIFIED SPECIALIST PROBATE, ESTATE PLANNING & TRUST LAW

 

Mark E. Thompson

Kevin L. Von Tungeln Leonard A. Cosgrove

 

 Visit our Learning Center

 

www.tvttrustlaw.com

(661) 945-5868


 

  The State Bar of California - Board of Legal Specialization

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ChamberSTORE

 

Helping Support Your Local Chamber is a

WIN-WIN!!

Take advantage of these special rates for chamber members!!

  

Newsletter Ads

Color or Black & White

  

Business Card - B&W: $50.00

 

Business Card - Color: $100.00

 

3 x 5  Blank & White: $100.00

  

3 x 5 Color: $200.00

 

Web Page Banner Ads

 

Please go to www.lancasterchamber.org

and look under Services/Internet Ads for description and pricing.

 

Chamber Membership Lists

 

Alpha & Category on Paper: $30.00

Labels by Alpha or Zip: $50.00

Email Data: $50.00

 

2014 California Packets Are Here!!!

 

Employer Poster Set: $25.00

UI & SDI Pamphlets (10): $17.00

Sexual Harassment 

 Pamphlets (10): $17.00

Paid Family Leave

Pamphlets (10): $13.00

Workers' Compensation

Pamphlets (25): $14.00

 

*Employer Poster Set Available in Spanish & English - Laminated Upon Request w/Additional Fee

 

Please call the Chamber for more information:

 (661) 948-4518 

 

 

 

 

What can the Lancaster Chamber of Commerce do to help grow YOUR business???

 

Membership Benefits 

  • Chamber Website
  • Business Connection Newsletter
  • Membership Directory
  • Membership City Map
  • Radio Talk Show - Free
  • Super AV Expo

 

Monthly Events 
  •  Membership Luncheon
  • Business After Hours Mixer
  • Business-4-Breakfast 

 

Discount Advertisement 

  • AV Press - Chamber Page
  • Video Commercials
  • Web Video - Business Showcase

 

Please call the Chamber for more information:

 (661) 948-4518 

 

 

Mission Statement 

 

To Serve the Community by Promoting, Protecting, Encouraging and Developing Local Business

 

SHOP LOCAL SHOWCASE TO COMBINE WITH MAY FLEA MARKET!

 

Most of our members are familiar with both our semi-annual Flea Market and our Super AV Expo--this year, we are bringing the best of both events to you in one exciting production! While our May 4th flea market will continue to feature your favorite vendors, second-hand "treasures", antiques, and great food, you will now have the opportunity to shop our local retailers and service providers in the Van Dam Pavilion!  We are proud to roll out the "Shop Local Showcase", featuring upgraded booth space, a "retail" feel, and a venue to get to know the businesses that make the Antelope Valley a great place to live and shop! 

 

Click here to download Flea Market application

 

*Shop Local Showcase

 application coming soon!

 

 For more details and information on how your local business can be a part of this exciting opportunity, please contact:

 

Events Coordinator, Anna Zarley,  (661) 948-4518!

 

 

New and Renewing Members

 

February 

 

 

 Introducing Our Newest Members!

 

 

Sweet Frog Frozen Yogurt

Darla Robinson

44758 Valley Central Way

     Lancaster, CA 93536

           (301) 643-7593       

 

 

Kelly Financial Group

Michael Kelly

190 Sierra Court, Suite B-3

Palmdale, CA 93551

(661) 273-9005

[email protected]

 

 

Visual Instrumentation Corporation

Robert Lewis

1110 W. Avenue L-12, Suite 2

Lancaster, CA 93536

(661)945-7999

http://www.visinst.com

 

 

$uper Bargain

Lily Luc

44201 10th St West

Lancaster, CA 93534

(661) 942-2603

 

 

Vose Properties

James Vose

PO Box 8743

Lancaster, CA 93539

[email protected]

 

 

TownePlace Suites

Randy Rasmussen

2024 West Avenue J-8

Lancaster, CA 93536

(661) 723-6709

[email protected]

 

 

Bakker's Pane In The Glass Window Cleaning

Antonie Bakker

           (661) 943-1902       

 

 

Home Helpers

Jessica DeMumbrum

20361 90th St

California City, CA 93505

(760) 574-3630

www.homehelpers.cc

 

 

Kids Charities of Antelope Valley

Yvette Emard

742 W. Ave L

Lancaster, CA 93534

(661)942-4111

www.kids-charities.org

 

 

Ladies Choice of Antelope Valley

Melanie Gaines

Lancaster, CA 93534

(661) 341-5053

 

 

Patti Holt-Pulsifer

Individual Membership

                                     

 

 

We Are Pleased to present our Renewing Members

   

Lamar Advertising Company

Todd Porter

104 Enterprise Parkway

Lancaster, CA 93534

(661)948-0721

Member Since 1953

 

Century 21 Doug Anderson & Assoc

1727 West Avenue K, Suite 102

Lancaster, CA 93534

(661)945-4521

Member Since 1963

 

Currado Insurance Agency, Inc/Allstate Insurance

John A. Currado, LUTCF

43713 20th Street West, Suite 2

Lancaster, CA 93536

(661)945-2696

Member Since 1983

 

James O. Fourr CPA

44288 Lowtree Avenue

Lancaster, CA 93534

(661)945-8602

Member Since 1989

 

BLVD Association

Monica Grado

44759 Beech Ave

Lancaster, CA 93534

(661) 940-3668

Member Since 1990

 

 Desert Haven Enterprises, Inc

Jenni Moran

43437 Copeland Circle

Lancaster, CA 93535

(661)948-8402

Member Since 1991

 

Robertson's Palmdale Honda

Rick Carr

455 Auto Vista Drive

Palmdale, CA 93551

(661)265-6000

Member Since 1992

 

City of Lancaster

44933 Fern Avenue

Lancaster, CA 93534

(661)723-6000

Member Since 1993

 

Century 21, Al & Midori Yarrow & Associates

44143 20th Street West

Lancaster, CA 93534

(661)942-3703

Member Since 1993

 

Coldwell Banker Commercial Valley Realty

Harvey Holloway

42402 10th Street West, Suite E

Lancaster, CA 93534

(661)948-2644

Member Since 1993

 

Farley Brothers of Lancaster, Inc

Roy Richards

334 East Avenue K 4

Lancaster, CA 93535

(661)948-4541

Member Since 1993

 

Lancaster Flooring, Inc

Harry Bederian

44910 Yucca Avenue

Lancaster, CA 93534

(661)942-2813

Member Since 1993

 

Judy Cooperberg

506 West Jackman Street

Lancaster, CA 93534

(661)726-2850

Member Since 1993

 

JB Wholesale Roofing/Bldg Spls

Chuck Trimmel

45515 23rd Street West

Lancaster, CA 93536-7218

(661)948-4537

Member Since 1993

 

McDonald's

Fran Marroquin

44846 Valley Central Way

Lancaster, CA 93534

(661)942-6300

Member Since 1993

 

Antelope Valley Plumbing, Inc

Cathy Bevington

Palmdale, CA 93552

(661)533-1234

Member Since 1994

   

All American Financial Services

Slade Lohman

530 Commerce Ave Suite B

Palmdale, CA 93551

(661)949-6681

Member Since 1994

 

Earth Systems Southern California

Julie Lang

1024 West Avenue M 4

Palmdale, CA 93551

(661)948-7538

Member Since 1994

 

Hi-Grade Materials Co/Ascon Recy Co

Jon Hove

17671 Bear Valley Road

Hesperia, CA 92345

(661)533-3100

Member Since 1994

 

Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company

Theresa Garcia

1011 Lockheed Way, MZ 0819

Palmdale, CA 93599

(661)572-4077

Member Since 1994

 

Schools First Federal Credit Union

Tracy Thurber

43816 15th Street West

Lancaster, CA 93534

(714)258-4000 x8029

Member Since 1994

 

A V Boys & Girls Club

Jay Duke

PO Box 10047

Lancaster, CA 93584

(661)267-2582

Member Since 1995

 

Prospect Mortgage, LLC

Paul Porteus

1805 West Avenue K, Suite 105

Lancaster, CA 93534

(661)942-0206

Member Since 1999

 

Antelope Valley Care Center

Richard Terrell

44567 15th Street West

Lancaster, CA 93534

(661)949-5524

Member Since 2000

 

ProCare Hospice

Starlene Freebairn

42442 10th Street West, Suite E

Lancaster, CA 93534

(661)951-1146

Member Since 2002

 

Arnold N. Applebaum

Individual Membership

(562)404-4474

Member Since 2003


Royal Family Kids

Rick Chisham

44514 20th Street West

Lancaster, CA 93534

(661)948-5677

Member Since 2003

 

Joseph A. Meekins Lodge #103

Glen Campbell

PO Box 2654

Lancaster, CA 93539

(661)274-7536

Member Since 2004

 

Partcraft, Inc

Angela Kohan

414 East Avenue K 4

Lancaster, CA 93535

(661)945-8731

Member Since 2004

 

Brit O. Smith MD

44847 10th Street West, Suite B

Lancaster, CA 93534

(661)948-4523

Member Since 2006

 

Southern Kern Unified School District

Jeffrey Weinstein

3082 Glendower

Rosamond, CA 93560

(661)256-5000

Member Since 2006

 

All American Bail Bonds

Inessa Chavez

PO Box 901239

Palmdale, CA 93550

(661)267-6777

Member Since 2009

 

Kestler/Derryberry, LLP

Steven R. DerryBerry

641 West Lancaster Blvd

Lancaster, CA 93534

(661)945-6115

Member Since 2009

  

Santa Clarita School of Performing Arts

Mike Josten

23502 Lyons Avenue, Suite 105

Santa Clarita, CA 91321

(661)222-7910

Member Since 2009

 

Rid X Pest Disposal

Charles Bloodworth

42913 Capital Way #111

Lancaster, CA 93535

(661)341-3866

Member Since 2012

 

Century 21/Agent Bob Stickney

(661)945-4521

Member Since 2013

 

Circatek

Ryan Rierson

(661)435-8078

Member Since 2013

 

Cruise Planners

Annette Wick

420 East Rancho Vista Blvd

Palmdale, CA 93550

(661)771-9425

Member Since 2013

 

John's Lawn Care

John Sullivan

(661)916-3172

Member Since 2013

 

Lancaster School District

Dr. Michele Bowers

44711 Cedar Avenue

Lancaster, CA 93534

(661)948-4661

Member Since 2013

 

Mental Health America

NAMI - Antelope Valley

Jean Harris

45111 Fern Avenue, Suite 21

Lancaster, CA 93534

(661)341-8041

Member Since 2013

 

Pampered Nails & Spa

Loann Nguyen

42051 10th Street West, Suite 101

Lancaster, CA 93534

(661)945-2628

Member Since 2013

 

 

 

 

 

 

  

OUR NEW WEBSITE OFFERS INCREDIBLE MARKETING OPPORTUNITIES TO OUR MEMBERS!

 

 

For those of you who have utilized all the wonderful features of our new website, we are confident that you have seen interest in your business grow!  We are seeing triple the traffic on our site since we rolled out the new product in late October!  It's easy for our members to use and navigate and the free marketing tools that are included are state-of-the-art!  If you have not yet had the opportunity to request optimization of your member page, upload coupons, classified ads, and member-to-member discounts, or submit your events and meetings to our community calendar, please log in to your account and take full advantage of these exciting ways to market your business on both our website and our mobile app!  If you need us to re-send your log-in information, please contact us at

 

 (661) 948-4518

  

A NEW VISITOR'S CENTER IS ON THE WAY!

 

In the coming months, the Lancaster Chamber of Commerce, in partnership with

Destination Lancaster, will
be opening the official Lancaster Visitor's Center!  This center will be housed in the Lancaster Chamber of Commerce lobby and will feature information on local businesses, lodging, dining, and events for our out-of-town visitors!  We plan to offer small souvenirs and local postcards as well--stay tuned for more information on this exciting new venture!

  

In This Issue
Mega-Mixer News
New and Renewing Members
Ensuring Your Financial Success in 2014
City of Lancaster News and Events
Tips for Small Businesses
The Month In Pictures

Membership Luncheon Program

Lancaster City Council

Candidate Forum  

  

Please join us on Wednesday, March 12, 2014, for the Lancaster City Council Candidate Forum. There are nine contenders campaigning for two open seats on the Lancaster City Council and this is your opportunity to hear what they have to say about their platforms and how they answer moderated questions related to supporting business in the Antelope Valley.


 

We look forward to getting to know these nine candidates better prior to the April election and hope that you can join us for one of the largest and most well-attended candidate forums each election season...the Lancaster Chamber of Commerce candidate forum! Joining us will be:

 

 

                 City Council Candidates List

                 General Municipal Election

 

                    Vice Mayor, Marvin Crist

                    Councilman/Retired Deputy, Ron Smith

                    Sheldon Carter

                    David Paul

                    Liza Rodriguez

                    Michael Rives

                    Oscar Mejia

                    Johnathon Ervin

                    Jordan Campbell

 

 

RSVPs are strongly suggested for this extremely well-attended event.

 

Lancaster Chamber members:       $20 (pay online) or $25 at the door

Non-Members:                                 $30 (pay online) or $35 at the door

 
                         
                    EVENT INFORMATION

 

Date: March 12th

 

Time: 11:30am - 1pm

 

Location: J.P. Eliopulos Hellenic Center 43404 30th Street West, Lancaster 93536 

 

 

  
Chairman's Message

                       

  

 

Springtime is just around the corner! As with this season full of growth, new beginnings, and a renewed sense of hope, the Lancaster Chamber of Commerce continues to blossom as well!

In our efforts to continue to bring you, the member, the most value for your investment, we have seen great success in our monthly Lunch and Learn educational series and increased attendance at our luncheons, breakfasts, and mixers. In addition, the Work Ethic Scholarships that we award each year are going to be nearly double the amount of last year thanks to your generosity!  

As you may be aware, we are taking a very close look at our resources and are finding opportunities to bring our chamber members and our community more "bang for their buck" when sponsoring events. On May 4th, we will introduce the Shop Local Showcase that will be held in conjunction with our semi-annual Flea Market. The Shop Local Showcase will take place in the Van Dam building at the Antelope Valley Fairgrounds and will provide our local businesses an upscale, professional area in which to market their services and products while guaranteeing an audience of thousands. If you are interested in hearing more about this opportunity, please contact event coordinator, Anna Zarley, at (661)948-4518.

 

Our membership continues to grow by leaps and bounds and we are so pleased to have earned the trust and confidence from so many of our businesses that are choosing us as their "chamber of choice" . We have had so much positive feedback about the direction we are heading, the new ideas we are implementing, and , most importantly, the steps we have taken to make sure that our members always come first-the chamber is all about business marketing, exposure, referrals, and education-your success is our mission.

 

Gene Melchers

Chairman of the Board

 

 
  
Updated Withholding Tables Released for 2014


 

 

 

Courtesy of Cobb Doerfler & Associates, CPA    Accountants and      Tax Preparers    

 

 

 

 

 

Updated income-tax withholding tables for 2014 have been released by the IRS and supersede withholding tables issued in December 2013.

 

The newly revised version contains percentage method income-tax withholding tables and related information that employers need to implement these changes.

In addition, employers should continue withholding Social Security tax at the rate of 6.2 percent of wages paid. The Social Security wage base limit increases to $117,000. The Medicare tax rate remains at 1.45 percent each for the employee and employer.

 

The additional Medicare tax of .09 percent for employees (not employers) remains in effect and should be withheld from employee wages that exceed $200,000 in a calendar year, at the beginning in the pay period in which the employee's wages exceed $200,000.

 

Employers should start using the revised withholding tables and correct the amount of Social Security tax withheld as soon as possible in 2014, but not later than February 15, 2014. For any Social Security tax under-withheld before that date, employers should make the appropriate adjustment in workers' pay as soon as possible, but not later than March 31, 2014.

 

Employers and payroll companies will handle the withholding changes, so workers typically won't need to take any additional action, such as filling out a new W-4 withholding form. Individuals and couples with multiple jobs, people who are having children, getting married, getting divorced or buying a home, and those who typically wind up with a balance due or large refund at the end of the year may want to consider submitting revised W-4 forms.

 

As always, it's prudent for workers to review their withholding every year and, if necessary, fill out a new W-4 and give it to their employer. For example, individuals and couples with multiple jobs, people who are having children, getting married, getting divorced or buying a home, and those who typically wind up with a balance due or large refund at the end of the year may want to consider submitting revised W-4 forms.

 

We Can Help

If you'd like to better understand the ins and outs of your business and create sound guidance for internal decision making, you might consider cost accounting.
And we can help. Allow us to evaluate your business from top to bottom and determine the real cost of each component. With that as a foundation, we can help you draft budgets, adjust pricing, keep an appropriate level of inventory, and much more. Give us a call today.
  
(661)948-2661

 


 

 

Business-4-Breakfast
  
  

      Join us for business, stay for breakfast!

             

               7:00 a.m. Thursday, March 27, 2014

                                      

Event Location

 

Schooners Patio Grille

2797 W. Ave L, Lancaster 93536 (30th St. West)
           
Table Sponsor

 

 Lancaster JetHawks
 William Thornhill (661) 726-5400
                        

To RSVP please contact the Chamber Office

Phone: (661) 948-4518

Fax: (661) 949-1212

Email: [email protected]

 

 (2) Family 4 Pack Of Tickets To Attend A 

Lancaster JetHawks Game

 Sponsored by: Lancaster JetHawks

 

 

*Please note - If you RSVP and do not attend you will be invoiced for $10.00

  

  
   

 

  

Mayor Parris Recaps a Year of Progress, Assures a Future with Hope

Lancaster, CA. February 13, 2014 - Yesterday, Lancaster Mayor R. Rex Parris delivered the City's annual State of the City Address to the Lancaster Chamber of Commerce at the Hellenic Center in Lancaster. During the presentation, Mayor Parris shared that the City of Lancaster has made fantastic strides over the past year in a number of areas. By targeting basic societal needs first, then elevating efforts to more grandiose advancements, the City has been able to effectively address issues ranging from crime, health and education to infrastructure, entertainment and economic development.

"I couldn't possibly be any prouder than I am of this great City," said Parris. "We are consistently improving on all fronts, while doing more with less as a community. At times, this has been an uphill battle, but we've never given up on the possibilities; we've taken on every challenge with hope and vigor; and we've moved every step of the way with the resolute purpose of adding increased value to our community."

Despite overwhelming odds, the City of Lancaster has succeeded in both civic and economic improvements. Since 2008, Lancaster's Part 1 Crimes have decreased nearly 40%, and continue to trend downward in spite of recent problems introduced by California's prison realignment policy. City officials refuse to waver on their fight against crime, and employ all resources to ensure the overall crime rate continues to go down. With the innovative use of technology; the ongoing application of community-driven commissions; and the enthusiastic engagement of community Neighborhood Watch and Business Watch groups, the combined efforts of law enforcement, City staff and local citizens have proven to be a formidable force against criminals.
 

Regardless of the crippling statewide elimination of redevelopment agencies in 2012, the City of Lancaster has continued to grow its economy by attracting such businesses as Build Your Dreams (BYD), Morton Manufacturing, Marriott, and Best Western, to name a few. These developments have contributed to job growth in Lancaster, while additional economic development opportunities are being courted.

In regards to community wellness, the City can now boast of two new major facilities which have recently been completed: the Multi-Service Ambulatory Care Center and the new City of Hope medical and education center. These facilities complement and expand the healthcare information and services available to Valley residents. Later this year, Lancaster will also welcome a new state-of-the-art Kaiser Permanente facility, which will be the first of its kind to utilize solar water heating and reclaimed water.

Along the education front, Lancaster's SOAR High School continues to be the crown jewel of the educational system, performing in the top 1% of high schools in the nation with an API score of 945 at the end of the 2011-2012 school year. In addition, a partnership with the Lancaster University Center and California State University Long Beach has yielded a program in which one can earn a Bachelor's degree in engineering right here in the Antelope Valley in just 2.5 years. The Lancaster University Center has also teamed up with the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles to provide much needed Spanish GED courses in Lancaster.

The economic climate of the past six years has not held the City back from its aggressive Capital Improvement Program (CIP), which continues to enhance the quality of life for Lancaster residents. In all, 89 CIP projects are fully funded through sources such as Measure R grants and specialty funds. Mayor Parris proudly pointed out that these projects do not touch the General Fund in any way. By utilizing City crews to do the rehabilitation projects, the City is producing 40% more output than if the work was outsourced. In fact, many of these projects are currently six weeks ahead of schedule, and being completed for 60% less in costs.

Mayor Parris concluded his address by recapping the many accomplishments Lancaster has achieved in the alternative energy arena. Expecting to realize 50% of peak load by June of this year, the City is well on its way to Net-Zero status.

 

Parris credited careful planning and thoughtful risk taking for both the business successes and worldwide media attention generated from "green" industry interests. Partners such as KB Home and SunPower, who are responsible for the new Zero House 2.0, are helping Lancaster's goals come to fruition with their bold innovations.

"The City is literally paving the way to a sustainable future," said Mayor R. Rex Parris. "Our once small desert town is now a thriving metropolis, standing on the cusp of unfathomable stardom."


     
         Promote YOUR business FREE of Charge
 
  
    
  FREE Chamber Radio 
Talk Show
  
 "Minding Your Business"
                       
    Saturday, 12-1pm
 Call Anna Zarley: (661) 948-4518
  
 6 Uncomplicated Social SEO Tips for Small Businesses

Let's start with what is SEO?

SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. And the phrase improve your SEO strategy encompasses the actions taken to ensure your website can be found in a search engine's results page (SERP) when searching for words or phrases relevant to the content on your website.

What does Social SEO mean?

Social SEO refers to the idea that social media links and interaction play a considerable part in a website's search rankings. It sounds complicated (and, in reality it is) but basically SEO is all about optimizing content-whether it's on your website or on a social media platform-in order to appear higher in search rankings.

Here are six uncomplicated Social SEO tips you can easily start implementing today:

1. Optimize your social media profiles

The key to an SEO friendly social media profile is to be descriptive as possible. Always fill out the 'About' or 'Information' sections of any social media platform. Use words or phrases that describe your business and are also terms individuals would use to search for your business.

For example, to optimize your Facebook Page for local searches, it is very important to include your address, city, state, and zip. Always include links from your social channels back to your business's website (and links from your website to your social channels).

Insider Tip: The "Category" field is often over looked on Facebook Pages but is important for Facebook mobile searches. Check to make sure your business is listed as the correct category while editing your basic information.

2. Optimize your social media content/updates

To optimize your social content, always include some of the relevant search keywords you determined for your business in your Facebook updates, tweets, pin descriptions, etc. It's important to remember to share content from your website or blog socially to give it an SEO boost too. Sharing new content on Twitter is especially important because it helps Google index it faster (indexing means Google adds this URL to their database).

Insider Tip: Use your business's name in your social posts. This helps Google associate the keywords you use to describe your business with your business's name.

3. Build links by making your content shareable

A key factor in SEO is link building. Simply put, this means having good website to website relationships through links. When you have more quality sites linking to your website (inbound) and you are linking to other quality websites (outbound) the more authoritative Google determines your website to be. More authority equals a higher SERP rank.

Likes, comments, +1s, repins, retweets, etc., all play into the weight given to your links. If you create content people want to share, you can create more inbound links. "Content" doesn't always have to be as elaborate as a blog post or whitepaper, content can also refer to tweets or Facebook posts as well. By posting engaging social content, you're improving your SEO value. To review: Quality content equals more shares equals more links equals better SEO value. Simple right?

Insider Tip: A more advanced way to increase shares is to add social share buttons to individual pieces of content on your website or blog.

4. Use Pinterest

An easy way to create shareable content is by using Pinterest. Pinterest is great for link building and improving your keyword strategy. Google indexes pages from websites with heavy traffic faster and higher in a SERP. You can increase your content's visibility in SERPs by adding keywords within the title of a Pinterest board, the board's description, and you even have up to 500 characters to describe an individual pin so you'll want to include keywords there as well.

Additionally, you can customize the pin's link and point people back to your website or blog-further increasing the opportunity for your content to rank higher in a SERP. From an SEO perspective, Pinterest allows you to do a few things that other networks don't, so take advantage of it.

Insider Tip: Google prefers high-resolution images, so use high-quality images on Pinterest whenever possible.

5. Sign up for Google+ and spend 10-minutes a day on it

No one loves Google+ more than Google. Sign up for a Google+ Business Page and complete as many fields as you can in the "About" section using keywords that describe your business. Google also allows you to add several customized links within your profile, you can use this as an opportunity to link back to your website, blog, and additional social channels. By spending 10-minutes a day sharing your content to your Google+ page, you'll be more likely to appear within Google's SERP.

6. Create a Google+ Local listing

According to Google, 97% of consumers search for local businesses online. In order to perform well in local search results it's critical that you optimize your Google+ Local listing (formally known as Google Places). A Local Google+ page is different from a Google+ Business Page because it allows customers to easily connect with that business's physical location. Update the details about your business-address, phone number, hours, etc.-and you're good to go!

Insider Tip: Be sure to keep your information up-to-date on Google+ Local and Facebook-it helps!

Here are some common mistakes to avoid:

  • Not making your business's social media sites public.
  • Creating a Facebook Profile instead of a Facebook Page (learn how to fix this here).
  • Not customizing your Facebook URL. (Here's how)
  • Not using your business's name as your Facebook Page name or Twitter name.
  • Uploading images to your social channels with file names such as: Photo1 or IMG1287-images with meaningful file names can help you rank better.
  • Duplicating another website's content. Your time and resources are limited as a small business owner but Google doesn't like this.
  • If something appears to be a fast and easy way to improve your SEO it's probably a black hat tactic (that means it's bad), Google frowns on these unethical techniques and penalizes those who implement them.

Keep this in mind regarding Social SEO

Improving your SEO takes time and SERP changes don't happen overnight. Always be as descriptive as you can and keep your info up to date. Ultimately, as a small business owner you shouldn't obsess over SEO. Instead, focus on providing a WOW! experience for your customers and your business will benefit through natural word-of-mouth.

 

 

The Month In Pictures

 

Law Office of Christine Nelson  

Ribbon Cutting


                   
  

Vic's Bimmer Collision Center 

Ribbon Cutting

 Sandy Smith and Victor Vega 

with Isaac Barcelona District Director, Senator Knights Office


                   
  

 

Vic's Bimmer Collision Center 

Ribbon Cutting


                   
  

Law Office of Christine Nelson

Ribbon Cutting

Ambassador Kimberly Perkins  


                   
  

 

February Chamber Luncheon 

Chairman Gene Melchers

 & COO Sandy Smith

Presenting Certificate Of Appreciation To Speaker

Mayor R. Rex Parris 


                   
  

February Chamber Luncheon 

Mayor R. Rex Parris 

Delivering the

State of the City Address  


 

February Chamber Luncheon

Mixing & Mingling

 


                   
  

 February Chamber Luncheon

Business Information Table 


                   
  

February Chamber Luncheon 

Drew Mercy & Steven Derryberry 


                   
  

February Chamber Luncheon

 Mixing & Mingling



                   
  

February Mega-Mixer Host

 Marco Johnson with the University Of Antelope Valley &

COO Sandy Smith Presenting

Certificate of Appreciation 


                   
  

February Mega-Mixer 

Hosted by

University of Antelope Valley 

February Mega-Mixer

University of Antelope Valley 

Lancaster Chamber Ambassadors Robert Wolf &

Mary Majors

February Mega-Mixer 

University of Antelope Valley

Thank you to all of our

Raffle Prize Sponsors

February Mega-Mixer

University of Antelope Valley

Culinary Program

Event Catering Service 

 

February Business-4-Breakfast

COO Sandy Smith Presenting 

Certificate of Appreciation to

Annette Wick with Cruise Planners

Table & $50.00 Prize Sponsor

 

February Business-4-Breakfast

Schooner's Patio Grille 

February Business-4-Breakfast

Ambassador Kim Perkins and

 Best Commercial Winner

Patricia Ponds with Storage Express