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Message from the Chamber President, John Lane

Another August is upon us, so as the students head back to school and the dust settles from the busy summer, we turn our focus to readying our rakes for the fall and getting back to work (did we ever really stop?). The Oakdale Chamber of Commerce remains busy doing what it does, which is helping to create a strong local economy by connecting businesses, engaging the community, and promoting the City of Oakdale.

I’m always interested in reading the Oakdale Chamber referrals in this column every month. Residents and visitors alike tend to think of the local Chamber of Commerce first when seeking information about a community. The Oakdale Chamber fields quite a few phone calls and walk-in inquiries every day regarding a variety of topics: What’s happening in Oakdale? Where is a good place to eat? Where should I stay? What is there to do around here? You got any maps? In addition to calling or visiting the Chamber office, inquiring minds can also visit the Chamber’s website, www.oakdalechamber.com, which includes a searchable business directory, business resources, a community calendar, a history of the City of Oakdale, relocation information, a visitor’s section with nearby activities, and more. In the next few paragraphs, I would like to highlight a few of the ongoing things the Chamber is doing to fulfill its mission statement.

Concerts in the Park: There are still two weeks left in the free Friday Concert in Park series in Dorada Park, which runs through August. Bring your lawn chair and picnic (no glass is allowed) and enjoy a fun, family-friendly, concert in the park! Music begins at 6:30 p.m. Thank you to our business and individual sponsors!

Taste of Oakdale: The Chamber of Commerce presents the 9th Annual Taste of Oakdale at the Gene Bianchi Community Center on Tuesday, August 29th, from 5 pm to 8 pm. This is always a fun event where you can sample local restaurants, caterers, microbrews, wines, bakery items, and more. You do not necessarily need to be a Chamber member to participate as a vendor, and the Chamber can usually squeeze in last minute participants, so give the Chamber a call and show off what you do best!

Oakdale Chamber Golf Classic: September 11th is the date of the 4th Annual Oakdale Chamber Golf Classic at the Oakdale Golf & Country Club. The tournament is open to all players in a fun, skill-optional, 4-Person Scramble. But you don’t need to sign up as a foursome; any single, pair, or trio can enter and the Chamber will match you up to fill out a foursome. Or, join your golfing friends for dinner after the round and listen to them regale about that long putt that should have gone in except for that one “ball mark” in front of the cup. Yeah, right!

Strategies for Business Success: This is a nine week Monday evening course that starts September 18th; classes are held at the Oakdale Chamber conference room from 5:30 pm to 8:00 pm.  This low-cost class is taught by business consultants in conjunction with the Valley Sierra SBDC Small Business Development Center and will touch on business management topics designed to improve the bottom line of your business.

And finally, a thank you to all our members, which include not only large, small, and micro businesses, but also interested individuals. It is always an honor for me, as President of the Chamber, to sign a Certificate of Appreciation to a Member that reaches a milestone year of participation with the Chamber. I recently signed such thank you certificates for Juarez, Zarate & Company, CPA’s (20 years) and Hi-Tech Emergency Vehicle Services, Inc. (30 years). In addition, this being the 100th anniversary of the Oakdale Chamber of Commerce, I will have the distinct honor of thanking A.L. Gilbert Company for 100 years of membership! I need to get back to work, but I will see you around town!

 

 

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.