Taste of Oakdale is Good Marketing

TO Floor 209 Magazine AdThe Taste of Oakdale is a marketing opportunities for those in the food and beverage industry. It’s an opportunity to showcase your products and give the public a chance to taste just how amazing your product is. The Oakdale Chamber wants to promote the industry and encourage citizens to Shop Oakdale. We try to make the vendor fees cover expenses of the booth and facility and spend our dollars wisely on marketing and promoting the event. We ask the guest to rate the best beverage, favorite dessert, favorite restaurant and best overall. It is great bragging rights for your business along with a plaque to hang showcasing your title for years to come.

This year we have added radio to our previous advertising efforts. KATM Country will have a live remote starting at 4pm to 6pm which will help capture the audiences on their way home from work and help redirect them to our event. We will continue to advertise in the Oakdale Leader, Modesto Bee, Oakdale Direct Magazine and other publications. We will continue to use social media and direct email in a grassroots effort to promote the event.

If you own a restaurant or catering service that provides food to the residents of Oakdale then you qualify to be a vendor. As a member of the Chamber you qualify for a discounted rate. Vendors are to provide a selection of small “tastes” of your food and beverage. You can offer as many as you like in quantities that work for you. Appetizers, main entrees and desserts provide guests an array of unique tasting experiences that will entice them into your location for more. Join the Oakdale Chamber Taste of Oakdale as a vendor today!

Download the 2016 Vendor Application

CPAs and Loan Officers

Allison Carroll – Academy Mortgage Corporation

Most people dread doing their taxes and applying for a home loan to about the same degree. Let’s face it, between the IRS and current lending regulations imposed largely by the Federal Government, it can be a complicated process. As you get ready to do your taxes this year, it’s important to let your accountant know if you think there’s even the slightest possibility you might get a home loan to purchase or refinance a home. This is a great time of year to let your loan officer and accountant collaborate to make sure both are helping you move towards your personal and financial goals.

Here’s a partial list of common aspects of your taxes that you and your accountant might not think twice about, but your loan officer sure will: unreimbursed employee expenses; losses or low earnings on rental income, farm income, partnerships, corporations or self-employed income; writing off interest and property taxes on a home you do not own.

None of us wants to pay taxes, and our accountants know that. The problem right now is that the government is involved in almost every loan we originate. Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, VA, USDA, and FHA loans are all government-sponsored entities to some degree. I always tell my clients that if you don’t pay taxes on the income, the government doesn’t want to let you use it to qualify for a loan and substantiate your ability to repay a mortgage. Paper loss or not, it’s that cut and dry.

It’s important to use local accountants and lenders, so they can work together to help you. If you call a loan officer and, in order to issue a pre-approval, they simply ask you what you make instead of asking for documentation so they can calculate your income, hang up the phone. You’ve reached a drive-thru attendant, not a loan officer! A good, local lender will be thorough to make sure you have realistic expectations about the loan process and the amount of your pre-approval. Your local loan officer will be invested in your personal success, helping you reach your goals, and sustainable lending. We’re members of the community and we love helping our neighbors, and so does your accountant. After all, we’ll be seeing you and your kids next week at the grocery store.

Why should you join a Chamber of Commerce?

by Mary Guardiola, CEO

Do you want to grow your business? Being part of a chamber should be part of your business plan. As a Chamber member you are part of a larger group of business owners to get advice, network, support local community and grow your business. Chambers are for you even if you don’t typically do business with people in Stanislaus County. You can meet those that export products, make equipment, have access to business machinery, and you never know who the person you meet today will know.

All Oakdale Chamber members have a website link from the Oakdale Chamber website. This is one of the top landing pages for all visitors www.oakdalechamber.com.  This link will help boost your internet rankings. Networking and partnerships is about building relationships. People want to do business with people they know. Your goal is to increase the contacts you make as being a Chamber member and the relationships you build because of the Chamber. Attend when you can Chamber sponsored events to start building those relationships. Being part of a smaller community means those you meet at Chamber events are not all business owners but residents. Those residents need your products or services also. The Oakdale Chamber is a resource for your business: HR compliance products, marketing, training, networking, community information. Use the resources available to you.

If you would like more information about Oakdale Chamber benefits and investment please call the office 847-2244 our qualified staff would be happy to meet with you.

National Groundwater Awareness Week

by John P. Lane, Lee & Piece, Inc.

Groundwater is the water that soaks into the soil from rain or other precipitation and moves downward to fill cracks and other openings in beds of rocks and sand. Of all the freshwater in the world (excluding ice caps), 95 percent is groundwater. Groundwater is essential to the health and well-being of humanity and the environment. Whether you’re on a public water system or a private well, everyone has a vested interest in protecting this vital resource.

During an average year, groundwater represents 38 percent of the total water supply for the State of California. During dry years, groundwater contributes up to 46 percent or more of the statewide annual supply and serves as a critical buffer against the impacts of drought (California Department of Water Resources). Further, irrigation, which is the lifeblood of our agricultural industry, comprises about 80 percent of the total groundwater used (US Geological Survey 2009 report).

March 8-14, 2015 is National Groundwater Awareness week, which spotlights one of the world’s most important resources.

“Time to schedule your annual water well checkup!”

Just as you check your furnace or smoke detector batteries seasonally, spring is a good season to have an annual water well checkup before the peak water use season begins, according to the National Ground Water Association (NGWA).

Why is it a good idea to have my water well checked annually?

An annual checkup by a qualified water well contractor is the best way to ensure problem-free service and quality water. Also, preventative maintenance usually is less costly than emergency maintenance, and good well maintenance can prolong the life of your well and related equipment. NGWA further recommends you test your water whenever there is a change in taste, odor, or appearance, or when the system is serviced.

Wells can provide high-quality drinking water, but with well ownership comes the responsibility of keeping the water well in good working order. A check of your well by a qualified water well contractor may include a flow test to determine system output and water levels, well equipment inspection to assure it is sanitary, and a test of your water for general water quality (odor, cloudiness, etc.) and for specific contaminants such as coliform bacteria, nitrates, heavy metals, or other local contaminants of concern.

Well owners should also consider the following tips:

  • Keep hazardous chemicals, such as paint, fertilizer, pesticides, and motor oil far away from your well, and maintain a “clean” zone of at least 50 feet between your well and any kennels and livestock operations.
  • Maintain proper separation between your well and buildings, waste systems, and chemical storage areas.
  • Periodically check the well cover or well cap on top of the casing (well) to ensure it is in good repair and securely attached. Its seal should keep out insects and rodents.
  • Keep your well records in a safe place. These include the construction report, and annual water well system maintenance and water testing results.

A convenient source for a broader understanding of our groundwater can be found at www.wellowner.org, a Web service of NGWA. Contact the Oakdale Chamber Commerce, or browse our on-line Business Directory, for a referral to a Chamber member specializing in wells and/or pumps.

The continuing drought condition in California has intensified local discussions related to our groundwater, surface water, and related regulation. The Oakdale Chamber of Commerce invites you to attend the 42nd Annual Ag Scholarship Luncheon at the Gene Bianchi Community Center on Thursday, March 19, 2015, where the topic will be “Three Major Threats to Water Rights.”

Tips for your business: Being found on Google

From the mail bag comes a question from one our members:

I often get cold called by a company that claims to be Google. They want a lot of money to get me in Google search results. What should I do?

We’ve heard continued reports recently of an increase of these types of calls. We reached out to Justin Ribeiro, Chamber president and a Google Developer Expert at Chamber member Stickman Ventures Inc.

“Google doesn’t cold call businesses and they do not guarantee search placement.” said Justin via email. “Any company claiming to be able to place you at the top of Google results for money should not be trusted; Google specifically addresses this in their documentation for webmasters.”

What should a business do to help be found on Google?

“Google has a substantial amount of free resources for businesses and taking just a little bit of time to go through the steps goes a long way to be better found by customers on the web.”

One of the free resources that you can use today is Google My Business, a site setup to walk you through the steps to be better found on the web.

Want all the information in a one page printable sheet to take? We’ve created a Google Doc (Link: Tip Being Found on Google) that you can print and read to get started.

Re-designed, secure and more

The Oakdale Chamber of Commerce has recently gone through a set of technological changes that we hope will make finding information easier here at oakdalechamber.com. Some of the new changes include:

  1. A new mobile ready design. With 56% of US consumers using smartphones and 92% using the mobile web daily, you can’t ignore the mobile experience. We’ve taken care to make sure we can get you the data you need, anywhere.
  2. Secure from the ground up.  Adopting HTTPS (HTTP over TLS, or Transport Layer Security) only made sense given the increase of security breaches all over the web. This security allows us to make sure data we post reaches you as intended.
  3. Better business listings. Our members now appear better in our site search, making it faster to find business information and more.
  4. Better events calendar. Our events calendar is now powered by Google Calendars, allowing not only an easy to maintain solution, but also a significantly easier way for you to use our calendar by adding events directly onto you calendar, no copy and paste needed.
  5. The latest news, blog style. Stay up to date by visiting either our existing social channels or our new site blog. We’ll be posting announcements and more, so stay tuned.

We will continue to make improvements and fixes with the site as time goes by. We hope that this lays the foundation for better engaging with businesses, community and more as we start 2015.

Happy Holidays!