Jessica Sanchez's avatar
November 2017 Membership Anniversaries

We are thrilled to recognize the following members for their continued support of the Gilbert Chamber. Please look for the 2017-18 window decal at these businesses and be sure to thank them for their support in fostering a healthy and sustainable business climate here in Gilbert.

November 2017

25+ Years
Chandler-Gilbert Community College
Dignity Health - Mercy Gilbert Medical Center
East Valley Tribune / Times Media Group
Gilbert Mail
Severn Trent Services
The Arizona Group

21-24 Years
Kokopelli Golf Club

16-20 Years
Altier Credit Union

11-15 Years
A Mug You Can Trust - A Division of JM Maintenance Corp.
Boudreau Consulting LLC

6-10 Years
CFR Capital Group LLC
H&R Block
MidFirst Bank
Mountain View Funeral Home & Cemetery LLC
Schorie Auto Repair
Ubora IT Services

1-5 Years
Acts of Kidness Pediatrics
Advanced Business Learning, Inc.
Aflac - Shawna Chapman
American Payment Solutions
Chromedome Design
Clever Koi
Cobblestone Auto Spa
Earnhardt Buick GMC
Earnhardt Chevrolet
Earnhardt Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram
East Valley Partnership
Educate - Empower - Succeed, LLC
Elementary Credit Repair
EXIT Realty Expanded Vision
First International Bank & Trust
Freedom Life Church
Law Offices of David Michael Cantor
Lerner & Rowe, P.C.
Looks Good, LLC
Marty's Event Planning
Melaleuca - James Chiavacci
Menchie's Frozen Yogurt - San Tan Village
Nothing But NET
Phoenix Escape Room - Gilbert
Rodizio Grill
Starboard Financial
Tera Barnes Photography
The Enclave at Gilbert Senior Living
Toolbox 4 Entrepreneurs
United States Army Recruiting Center (Gilbert)
Wudel International Should You Be Using Instagram for Business? - Gilbert Chamber of Commerce
DaniKahn's avatar
Should You Be Using Instagram for Business?

When talking with others about Instagram, many of my conversations go like this:

“It’s just for kids, right?”
“I don’t want to have to deal with ANOTHER social media thing.”
“It’s just a trend.”
“It’s only for foodies...clothes...kale-eating people.”
“There’s no way to make money from it.”

Instagram, More Than a Fad

Since Instagram’s Facebook buyout in 2012 (for $1 billion1 by the way), it has evolved into a visually powerful, money-making machine. It has over 700 million active monthly users2 with that number increasing every day. Instagram users “like” 4.2 billion (yes with a “B”) posts per day3. If you’re a business or brand looking to connect with consumers, you need to take Instagram seriously.

It’s the ideal platform to connect to those who matter most: your customers. Instagram is anonymous enough for people to feel comfortable commenting. (Unlike Facebook, “I have to use my last name, ahhh?!”). And it’s professional enough to directly sell products and services.

There are a variety of tools on Instagram to hone in on your audience and the results are in! People are taking it to the bank4.

How to Use Instagram for Business

But how do you even get an audience? Where do you start? You’re ashamed by your lonely profile with 23 followers (and you really don’t know or care for user @likeforfollows49984x0x0).

Disclaimer and Real Talk

These tips are for holistic growth/optimization of your Instagram, not paying for ads, sponsors, or spammy tactics. Real growth in IG counts on you being as consistent, authentic, and engaged as possible. The IG team has adjusted their algorithm several times to make sure you’re legitimately “present”. For example, you can’t ‘schedule’ Instagram posts (yet5). Posts must be made in-real-time from a real cell phone.

Let’s Get Started, My Brave Small Business Owner

Start by choosing what you want to focus your Instagram on:

• Your delicious products?
• You as a unique brand?
• Your beautiful music?
• Your handsome looks?
• Your amazing designs?

Instagram is extremely visual, so pick a relevant niche and go for it. Show the world what you have to offer and give them a reason to look at your profile.

To grow your following on Instagram, you must be consistent and engaged while setting realistic goals. People will not follow you if you don’t interact with them. You don’t want to “flood” other people’s feeds, but you do need to post frequently enough that they don’t “forget” about you. Plan for 1 to 3 posts spread throughout the day for best results.

I put this to the test with my own Instagram (@danidrawn). For 4 months, I spent 30 minutes on Instagram per day. Every day I posted one quality picture/video. I’ve attracted between 100 and 150 authentic followers. I also make it my goal to follow others who, I feel, practice the same genuine approach.

Tips for Using Instagram for Business

• Make sure your profile picture is recognizable when it’s small. Logos are sometimes not
recommended depending on the clientele you would like to attract. Your profile picture
should be selected strategically, based on your goals for Instagram.

• Find a hashtag that relates to what you're posting. You can find popular hashtags by typing “#….” and there will be a suggestion box above your text. Hint: Pick the one with the most posts associated with it. Double hint: Don’t make up your own. Here’s a site to play with and find relevant hashtags:

• Now use that tag in every single post. Follow people who are authentic and genuinely invested in the tag. Comment on their posts with honest to goodness questions and well thought out responses. Stay away from the “single-emoji-flame-thumbsup-smiley, followmeplz”. They’re annoying, fake, and absolute trash.

• HOT TREND: Post a two to three sentence description with your picture/video and then post a comment below with under 30 hashtags. Don't get IG shadowbanned!6

• Leverage your following by adding at least one link to your profile. Use your website url or something that you’d like to feature. For example, your Instagram post could read “See the link in my description to find out more!”

• Keep your content clean and well thought out. Don’t post blurry photos or videos. Videos
are great, silent Boomerangs are better. (What the Heck is a Boomerang?) The images that do best have a single focus and a bare background. However, have fun with it, and go with what is natural for you and your company.

I Know You Love Homework

Okay, you’re reading all these things and feeling overwhelmed. These are best practices, which you may or may not feel like applying to your own company Instagram. Well, I have a challenge for you, should you choose to accept. Practice the 30-10-10-10 Challenge.

• For 30 days, I want to challenge you to engage with 10 people a day who are not current followers. Think of who your ideal customer is, the person who is most likely to use your product or service, and search for hashtags relevant to this customer. Focus on your ideal customer only, not your competition.
• Once you have found a hashtag, or multiple relevant hashtags, you should like 10 of those posts per day.
• On 10 more non-follower accounts, comment with a question, not just a saying (“single-emoji-flame-thumbsup-smiley, followmeplz”), that relates to each post daily.

This beginners challenge was taken from the more advanced 30-30-30 Challenge (details here), which you are welcome to try. I found the advanced version incredibly time consuming!

Go and Have Fun, Engage with Your Fellow Instagrammers!

• Do you see your engagement increasing?
• What hashtags are you searching?
• What responses are you receiving?

Let me know your progress! Let me know how it goes!

Don’t rush it and go with the flow (no matter how fast or slow), because there are #beautifuldaysahead @danidrawn.



About Dani Kahn
My name is Dani Kahn and I assist small businesses express themselves creatively. Everyone has the capacity to create, build, or envision something beautiful. Many small business owners are passionate creators, bursting at the seams with ideas. One problem: They are busy focusing on what their business provides, which typically does not include marketing! In a world where “marketing” is a dirty word, it is critical to think out of the box and attract the clients they want to work with. I approach all projects holistically to help small businesses grow substantially, using local connections, artistic flair, and recent technological advancements. My goal is to assist passionate entrepreneurs confidently take control of their brand and express their dreams to the world. My allies are Gilbert companies like: 910West, HG (Higher Grounds) Roastery and Cafe, and the Gilbert Historical Society. Adopt a Local Senior This Holiday Season - Gilbert Chamber of Commerce
Sarah Watts's avatar
Adopt a Local Senior This Holiday Season

The Gilbert Chamber Foundation is organizing the ninth annual “Adopt A Senior” program this holiday season to benefit Gilbert’s low-income senior citizens as well as homebound seniors and disabled Gilbert residents, in partnership with the Gilbert Senior Center.

The Chamber is asking members of the community to support this year’s Adopt A Senior effort by requesting a wish list, then shopping for and returning the items to the Chamber by Wednesday, December 6th. An average list costs $25 and may include a variety of requested items.

In addition, the Chamber is seeking the donation of miscellaneous items in quantities of 50 or more and will use these items to make up goody bags that are distributed to low-income seniors at a holiday party hosted by the Chamber. Donated items often range from magnets to mouthwash and can be anything that would be useful or appreciated by a senior.

To fulfill a wish list or provide donations for the goody bags, please contact Ashley Silva by e-mail to Be sure to include your contact information and the number of seniors/lists you would like to adopt. Monetary donations are accepted and will be used to purchase gift cards for unfulfilled wish lists. Donations can be sent to the Gilbert Chamber Foundation, PO Box 527, Gilbert, AZ  85299.

We look forward to your involvement! Removing Barriers To Work - Gilbert Chamber of Commerce
Kathy Tilque's avatar
Removing Barriers To Work

PHOENIX — Governor Doug Ducey recently interviewed with the Foundation for Government Accountability (FGA) to discuss how Arizona is removing barriers to employment by reforming occupational licensing requirements. During the interview, the Governor discussed efforts such as removing restrictions on the sharing economy, eliminating 500 regulations this year, and lifting licensing fees on those in poverty.
FGA, a public policy organization, also interviewed Arizona resident Juan Carlos Montes de Oca to tell his story about wanting to serve Tucson’s homeless population. Both interviews can be viewed below.

Executive Excellence: Governor Doug Ducey on Eliminating Regulations

Juan’s Story: A Passion to Serve

For more information or assistance, contact Governor Ducey's press office: (602) 542-1342. Opportunities to Serve Local Students - Gilbert Chamber of Commerce
Sarah Watts's avatar
Opportunities to Serve Local Students

Below are some different opportunities to support local students and educators! If you have interest in supporting any one of these opportunities, please contact Sarah Watts by e-mail to


Science Fair Judges Needed – School Contest! *NO EXPERIENCE NECESSARY!
Towne Meadow Elementary School (GPS) is looking for 5 volunteers on Friday, November 17, 2017 from 9:00 a.m. to Noon to score submissions and select winners for the following categories: demonstration, experiment, invention as well as select the top 5 overall experiments that will go on to the district science fair.


STEM Education & Career Expo
Highland High School would like to cordially invite you to participate in our first STEM Education & Career Expo on Wednesday, January 31, 2018, from 9:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. Highland High School’s mission is to provide an accepting, positive learning environment where growth and success happen. With that in mind, we strive to offer students meaningful experiences, develop skill sets, and establish pathways that will enhance their college and career readiness.  The STEM Education & Career Expo will offer students an opportunity to learn more about higher education, training, opportunities and careers they might want to seek out for their post-secondary education.  As a professional and/or organization within our community you can directly impact our students’ futures. This is also an opportunity for you to network within our community of over 3,000 students and 250 staff members, by sharing experiences, providing exposure to your industry, highlighting opportunities for growth, and offer them suggestions on required training for their career choices. We encourage your business or organization to offer an interactive experience where students can learn from you either by observation, interaction, and/or engaging in conversation. With your participation in our STEM Education & Career Expo, our students will receive instrumental exposure to the large spectrum of careers and opportunities here in the East Valley, and enable you to lay the foundation for creating connections with the next generation of employees while assisting passionate students to pursue their career endeavors.


Science Fair Judges Needed – District Contest! *NO EXPERIENCE NECESSARY!
Gilbert Public Schools is looking for 20 volunteers to score the project submissions to the Elementary & Junior High Science Fair on Thursday, February 22, 2018 from 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Instructions and a scoring rubric will be provided upon arrival.


STEM Pathways Curriculum Roundtable
We are working with a local high school to develop a curriculum roundtable whereby STEM-related businesses can learn more about the school’s current program and then provide some feedback as it relates to workforce and real-world development. If you have interest in participating in this discussion, please let me know and I will provide additional details as they become available.


Thank you for your consideration of these requests!  October 2017 Membership Anniversaries - Gilbert Chamber of Commerce
Jessica Sanchez's avatar
October 2017 Membership Anniversaries

We are thrilled to recognize the following members for their continued support of the Gilbert Chamber. Please look for the 2017-18 window decal at these businesses and be sure to thank them for their support in fostering a healthy and sustainable business climate here in Gilbert.

October 2017

25+ Years
Bjerk Builders, Inc.
Gilbert Historical Museum

21-24 Years

16-20 Years
Bamford Realty, Inc.
Benjamin Franklin Plumbing
Sign A Rama

11-15 Years
Arizona Farm Bureau Federation
Banner Gateway Medical Center
Casino Arizona
Century 21 Platinum Real Estate
Comprehensive Women's Healthcare
Falcon Air Conditioning
Gilbert Education Foundation
Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport
TruWest Credit Union
Wells Fargo Bank

6-10 Years
5 Pints Productions, LLC.
Bliss Realty & Investments
Employee Benefit Exchange Corp.
Horne Kia
Mountain Vista Medical Center
OneAZ Credit Union
OrthoArizona Mezona Division
Rosepapa Creative Design

1-5 Years
Advanced Foot & Ankle Specialists of Arizona
Arizona Maid / Quality 4 U
Banner Health Center
Bio Huma Netics, Inc.
Board & Brush Creative Arts Studio
Board Developer
Bolts & More
CMIT Solutions of Gilbert and Mesa
Cookie Cutters, Haircuts for Kids
East Valley Animal Hospital
Edward Jones - Josh Bring Financial Advisor
Elite Shutters & Blinds
Enterprise Car Sales
Evident Life Church
Gateway Financial Advisors
Gentle Dental Desert Winds
Gentle Dental Gilbert
Hospice of the Valley
KB Home
Lauren's Institute for Education
LGE Design Build
Local First Arizona
Mercedes-Benz of Gilbert
Mother Nature Metaphysics, LLC
Optimum Sales Powered By Sales Xceleration
Pregnancy Care Center of Gilbert
Primrose School of Gilbert at Santan
Redirect Health
Safely Somewhere Foundation
Sauce Pizza & Wine
The Timmick Group
Topgolf Gilbert
Town & Country Office Cleaning
TrueRoots Development
Val Vista Vision
Viking Premium Print
Washington Federal
Winsor Law Group
Woodard Construction Why You Need A Business Plan - Gilbert Chamber of Commerce
LarryGoldsmith's avatar
Why You Need A Business Plan

If you want to go somewhere, you need a roadmap or directions. Without a map or directions or even prior knowledge of how to go, you have a hard time getting anywhere. You might also need a vehicle or have to take a hike! You need to know how much fuel you will need. You may want to know how quickly you need to get to your destination. You need to know a lot.

Your Plan provides you with that “map”. It shows where “somewhere” is. And how you will get there. How much fuel you will need. It tells you where the rivers and streams are, and where the roads to wealth lay.

You may have been operating by innately planning or creating the “map”, but an actual plan will help you put all the pieces together to run more efficiently and profitably.

The pieces of your plan can include your goals, competitive situation, and pricing review, point of difference, strategies, and tactics. Any format can work, as long as it works for you.

If you do not know where you are going, you will never get there! Your destination must be clear. Your goals need to include specifics – especially numbers and dates. Goals and objectives need to be measureable. You need to be able to gauge your success. Remember, “Only that which is measured can be Improved!”

Know thy enemy! Your competitors are the enemy. The more you know about them, the better you can win over them. Know their pricing so that you can compete against them. Figure out why you are better than your competition. It is your point of difference.

Strategies are your vehicles on the road to success. They are the broad methods you use to reach your goals and objectives. Each and every one of your strategies must be in furtherance of you meeting your goals. If it is not, then it is not a valid strategy. Your strategies are broad and can be very general or more specific. Your strategy could be “advertise”. Another could be “hire a sales force”. Or “open a storefront”. Or “open a web store”.

Tactics are the tools that you use within your strategies. Every tactic must come from a strategy. Otherwise, it does not advance your trip to your goals. Tactics could include specific actions, timing, and budgets.

For example, a tactic could be “Advertise on local radio stations XYZ for 4 week flights every other month starting 1/2/18, with a budget of $45,000”.

Having clear tactics, strategies and objectives are keys to a good plan or “roadmap”. A solid competitive overview outlining the “battlefield” gives you the solid foundation on which you can build your business.
Whether it is called a business plan, strategic plan, business outline, or “just something you put together” in order to grow your sales and profits, you must have some sort of Plan.

Presented By;
Larry Goldsmith, President/Owner
LRG Business Consulting

Larry has over 40 years of business experience with more than 10 years as a successful consultant to small businesses in the S.E. Valley. He is married with 2 grown sons and 2 grandchildren and a proud resident of Gilbert, AZ. Where’s the Money? - Gilbert Chamber of Commerce
ChristieBoutain's avatar
Where’s the Money?

Finding and understanding financing options for your business is not always easy.  There seems to be options on every corner and every swipe on your smartphone.  How do you know what is best and where to find it? 

The first thing you need to do is look at your current banking relationship.  Do you have a well-established relationship with a bank that you trust?  Do you have a banker that is reliable and available? 

If you answered yes, that’s fantastic!  Spread the word.  I’m sure there are other business owners that could benefit from working with a trusted partner. 

If you answered no, then you’ve got a little work to do.  Ask your accountant, financial planner, or attorney for a banker you can call.  Go in and have a conversation.  Learn about the values of the bank and banker.  Is there a synergy between your values and business goals?  Any relationship at the onset requires an investment of time and energy.  Be prepared.  Have your financial statements in order.  In the end, you will be glad you invested the time.

Your banker should be one of your trusted resources and advisors.  They are there to help you navigate the financial options and services available to you. 

When I get asked about financing options, my first question is to ask what it is for.  The purpose of the funds should dictate the type of financing.  Short-term financing like a line of credit should be used for short-term needs such as working capital or inventory.  Long-term financing like a term loan should be used for long-term needs such as equipment purchases or real estate acquisitions.  Helping the banker understand what you need and why will help determine what’s best.

Some of the most common options include:

Conventional bank loan.  This type of financing is offered by a financial institution and will require collateral along with a proven ability to repay the loan.  It will require a certain percentage down payment on the asset(s) being acquired or a discounted value placed on existing assets owned by the business. 
SBA loan.  This type of financing is also provided by a bank and is guaranteed by the Small Business Administration.  It is a way for banks to offer flexible financing terms to businesses beyond what might be available on a conventional bank loan.  It will typically allow for less down, longer amortization or less collateral.
Hard money loan.  This is typically an asset based loan financed by private investors or companies, has a higher cost to acquire, but can be easier to acquire than a conventional bank loan. 
Crowdfunding.  This is a way to raise funding online and has similar characteristics of a hard money loan.
Credit card.  This may be a useful funding source for smaller financing needs and can have a higher cost of interest to acquire than other financing options. 
Friends and family.  This is not always an easy ask, but if done properly can be another alternative source of financing.  Consider formalizing an agreement so both parties know what is expected. 

Whatever option fits your needs, be disciplined about the repayment.  Just because a longer amortization is provided doesn’t mean it matches short-term or long-term business growth goals.  Maximize flexibility when you need to and build equity when you can.  Communicate with your banker on your goals so the right structure can be set. 

In this commoditized era of banking, it really comes down to the service provided including, but not limited to, the responsiveness and creative structuring options provided by your bank.  It is not a one-size-fits-all or even most.  Find your trusted resource and you will find the right financing options that best fit your needs and business goals.

Christie Boutain has a passion for working with business owners and helping them build successful enterprises, strong communities, and long-lasting relationships with trusted resources.  She has been in banking for over 20 years and is a commercial lender with Gateway Bank in Mesa.  She has over 15 years of experience in commercial and industrial lending, commercial real estate lending, equipment finance, deposit and treasury management, and strategic planning.  Born and raised in Minnesota, Christie, her husband and their two children moved to Arizona in 2016 and enjoy the sunshine, warm weather, and all the valley has to offer. Continually Growing Your Business - Gilbert Chamber of Commerce
EmilyEvans's avatar
Continually Growing Your Business

The journey to becoming great at anything is an adventure that is not to be undertaken lightly. It should be done with intention and deliberation, but it hardly ever is. Usually we think we'll become the expert on something overnight, with little to no effort. Not that we have any experiences to back that up, quite the opposite really, but that's our thought process nonetheless. Today I’m talking about being great in sales by continually bringing on new clients.

The biggest struggle is to maintain consistency. Just as we get the ball rolling getting clients on board, selling things left and right, it seems like all of a sudden we complete what we're working on then BOOM everything stops. What happened? In most cases we have failed at one very important thing. Continual prospecting. (We're not talking about how to prospect this time, that's a totally different post!) How do we keep the cycle going and avoid the peaks and valleys?

Plan your time and have the discipline to stick to it.

Sounds easy enough. Then life happens. Things take us off track and all of a sudden the day, the week, the month, the YEAR have gone by and we haven't accomplished everything we wanted to. Why did this happen? Because, in many cases, we didn’t have any plan to start with or if we did we didn’t adjust it when things happened. What can be done?

A good friend of mine once asked me who my most important client is. When I responded, “They’re all important,” he gently reminded me that wasn’t true. “Your most important client is your future client,” he said. This reminder was perfect to help me re-frame how I was thinking about building my business. You must set time aside every day for finding those new clients, and if you’re not, you may not be in business much longer. The best place to start is to figure out where you’re spending your time.

Why do I bring up how you spend your time when talking about building consistency in sales? Because if you don’t know where you’re spending your time, it’s impossible to see where you need to make a change. I’ve seen it time and again. You start with a heavy emphasis working to get new clients, that shifts to taking care of those new clients you just gained, then once done you start all over again with trying to get more new clients. It’s a cycle that is very difficult to correct, especially when you don’t know it’s happening! How do you correct it?

Time blocking is where I started. I took my calendar and dedicated set times to do stuff. It was … ineffective to say the least. What I ended up seeing is that the time blocks I randomly set up were hard to stick to because I didn’t put enough thought into how much time I actually needed for things. However, it did help me understand how I was spending my time and realize where I needed to make adjustments. If you’re just starting out in business, how much time you’re spending working to gain new clients is going to be disproportionally higher than if you’ve been around for a while. The struggle for me was/is continually adjusting my plan to figure out how to keep finding new clients in my day.

Here are 5 ideas on how to help keep your business going:
  1.  Social media posts. These are easy to do during the times of day that you can’t be in front of your clients.
  2. Focus how you’re spending your time and be present. If you’re at a networking event, an expo, a fair, or whatever, be there. Don’t be on your phone checking email, texting, checking voicemail, etc.
  3. Help train your existing clients that this is not a 24/7 world we live in as small business owners. Have a standard time you return voicemails, emails, etc. so they know that – although you aren’t answering their call right then because you’re being present while doing something else – you will be getting back to them and they know when.
  4. Referrals. The goose that lays the golden egg. Invest your time in events and with people who give you the best ROI for your time. If you’ve not built your network of advocates who are out there talking up your business to potential clients for you, it might be something you want to focus on.
  5. Show value. A great way to do this is to share information about things happening in your industry that impact your clients. Information that impacts their industry makes it relevant and makes them want to share that info with others. (AKA your potential future clients)

All in all, it’s about making sure you're spending time effectively. Being focused while you’re working on something, attending a meeting, or being with your family. Don’t let distractions derail you, but when they do … and they will … make sure you have your plan handy so that you can get back on track easily.

As another of my great mentors has said, “Stop seeking perfection. Stay busy and course correct often. Perfection is the enemy of progress.”

Thanks to Jonathan Whistman, author of Sales Boss, for helping me re-frame who my best clients are and to Joe Buzzello, author of The CAP Equation, for helping me realize a plan doesn’t have to be perfect to work. I will never forget all you’ve done to help me in my career and work to pay it forward daily.

(p.s. Speaking about not being perfect … number of times I got distracted as I wrote this article: 9)

Thanks for reading; until next time. Emily

Emily Evans has been running her own business as an Independent Agent for Aflac since 2011 and has been an active member of the Gilbert Chamber of Commerce since around 2013. She is passionate about helping people live the American Dream; from helping small business owners growing their businesses with strategic positioning of employee benefits, helping their employees be more productive and better protected, and individuals looking to live the American Dream with their own business as an Aflac Agent. Emily is an alumna and mentor of Gilbert Leadership (Class XXV), a member of the Small Business Committee, and is part of the marketing committee for the Gilbert Historical Museum. Please contact her for additional questions by emailing her at or by calling her office 480-535-4998 and scheduling an appointment. September 2017 Membership Anniversaries - Gilbert Chamber of Commerce
Jessica Sanchez's avatar
September 2017 Membership Anniversaries

We are thrilled to recognize the following members for their continued support of the Gilbert Chamber. Please look for the 2017-18 window decal at these businesses and be sure to thank them for their support in fostering a healthy and sustainable business climate here in Gilbert.

September 2017

25+ Years
Atmosphere Commercial Interiors
Morrison Ranch, Inc.
Pioneer Landscaping Materials, INC

21-24 Years
Gilbert Promotional Corporation
Republic Media (The Arizona Republic,
Val Vista Lakes Events

16-20 Years

11-15 Years
Arizona Business Bank
Southwest Airlines
Town of Gilbert
United Food Bank
Wells Fargo Bank, N.A.

6-10 Years
Banner MD Anderson Cancer Center
Bound Tree Medical, LLC
Custom Signs & Graphics
Gilbert Christian Schools
LRG Business Consulting
Merrill Lynch Wealth Management - James Stoes, AAMS®
Red Mountain Air Conditioning
Simply Ravishing The Salon
Sunrise of Gilbert
Wells Fargo Bank

1-5 Years
Always Professional In Moving Inc.
Anytime Fitness
Better Choice Homes
Boy Scouts of America - Grand Canyon Council
CARSTAR Autopro Collision Chandler
Celebration Stem Cell Centre
Clearly Clean Carpet
CNN Mortgage
Desert Hills High School
Even Stevens
EZ Spaces
First National Bank
Five Star Carpet Cleaning & Restoration
Health Benefits Solutions
Herbally Yours, Inc.
Home Care Assistance
Iced for Life LLC
IPA/America's Business Benefit Association
ISV Nail Forum
MVP Corrective Therapy & Functional Movement
Professional Garage Services
Rain International
Showtime Realty Professionals, LLC
TCT Commercial Real Estate
The Matwick Group
Truly Nolen of America, Inc.
Truly Nolen of America, Inc.
Walt's Jewelers
Window Genie
Yoli Better Body
Zinburger Wine & Burger Bar Get Ready for Year End - Gilbert Chamber of Commerce
BarbaraStarley's avatar
Get Ready for Year End

It may seem like the end of year is a long way off, but it will be here before you know it!  If you are like most small business owners, you are BUSY and thinking about year end and taxes is the last thing you want to be doing.  I understand.  I’m a small business owner myself.  Some of my clients are still working on taxes for last year, let alone thinking about the current year.  Wouldn’t it be nice – and a lot less stressful – if you could sail into year end with confidence?

Here are 5 things you can be doing right now in anticipation of year end:

- Collect W9s for ALL independent contractors
- Reconcile accounts
- Clean-up your Accounts Receivable
- Clean-up your Accounts Payable
- Track your mileage for 3 consecutive months

Collect W9s for ALL Independent Contractors

In my 20+ years of working with entrepreneurs and small business owners, I can only think of a handful of companies that did not need to prepare at least one 1099 at the end of the year.

Who needs to get a 1099?  Any individual, partnership or unincorporated company to whom you’ve paid a total of $600 or more in the calendar year. 

Keep in mind, most LLCs are NOT incorporated!  An LLC (Limited Liability Company) gives some of the liability protections of a corporation, but it is NOT considered a corporation for tax purposes.  Determining whether a vendor needs to receive a 1099 depends on how that vendor will ultimately file their tax return.  Unless they are filing a Form 1120 or 1120S, you will most likely need to send them a 1099.

The best way to protect yourself is to obtain a W9 from all independent contractors BEFORE you ever give them their first check.  If you haven’t done that already, there’s no time like the present to get it done!  Simply go to to download the most recent W9 form, attach it to an email and ask your vendor to complete the form, sign, and return it to you.  Be sure to follow up on this request, so you have a 1099 on hand for all independent contractors before year end.

Note:  All payments made to these vendors should be made out to the name shown on the W9. 

As you receive the completed W9s from your vendors, be sure to update the Vendor record in QuickBooks.  Enter the tax ID number shown on the W9 in the same format as shown on the W9.  Unless the W9 indicates that this vendor is INCORPORATED, you should mark the name as “eligible for a 1099”.  QuickBooks will automatically determine if the amount paid meets the $600 threshold.  When in doubt, mark the box!

Reconcile Accounts

Now is the perfect time to make sure your accounts are up-to-date and reconciled.  Which accounts should you be reconciling?  All Balance Sheet accounts – particularly your bank accounts (checking, savings, money markets) and credit card accounts.

Even if you have the luxury of a daily download from your bank into QuickBooks, it is a “best practice” to make sure that everything has been recorded, reconciled and you aren’t carrying a lot of old outstanding transactions.

Clean-up Your Accounts Receivable

As you customers move closer to year end, they will be looking for write-offs for their business.  There’s no time like the present to make the push to collect on some of your older straggler accounts receivable.  It’s a win-win proposition!  Your customer gets the tax write-off in the current year – and you get paid!!

Clean-up Your Accounts Payable

The flipside to cleaning up your accounts receivable is for you to clean-up your accounts payable.  Do you have “unpaid bills” showing on your accounts payable report?  If so, are those bills still due to your vendors, or were those bills paid by check or credit card and simply weren’t removed properly from the Accounts Payable list?  You certainly don’t want to pay a vendor twice for the same goods or service, but your reputation as a business owner depends on your timely payments.  Now is a great time to make sure your bills are caught up and paid – and you get the added benefit of taking a tax deduction in the current year!

Track Your Mileage for 3 Consecutive Months

You probably already know that if you drive your personal automobile for business purposes, the IRS will allow you to write-off those miles as an expense of your company.  For 2017, the standard mileage allowance is $.535 for every business mile driven, but there’s a catch!  Your miles must be documented, in writing.  You can use an inexpensive mileage log available at your local office supply store or any one of the handy apps available on your phone.  Personally, I like the “MileIQ” app ( which tracks every drive and you simply decide whether the drive was “business” or “personal”. 

Why start now?  Because if you track your miles for three consecutive months, the IRS will allow you to extrapolate those miles and apply them to the entire year.  So, by starting now and simply tracking October, November and December, you will have satisfied the 3 consecutive months rule.

Barbara Starley is a child of God and loves the Lord.  She is a wife, mom, business owner, best-selling author and speaker.   Barbara is not your typical CPA.  As a Certified QuickBooks® Pro Advisor she has served hundreds of entrepreneurs, small business owners and churches in the areas of QuickBooks® set-up, training and troubleshooting.  Her patient demeanor and in-depth knowledge is the perfect combination to turn confusion into confidence and to help her clients become more successful and profitable. What Is SEO: Search Engine Optimization 101 - Gilbert Chamber of Commerce
AnthonyKirlew's avatar
What Is SEO: Search Engine Optimization 101

Search Engine Optimization (a.k.a. SEO) is a term that is used a lot regarding online marketing; however, many people do not really understand what it is and how to effectively implement it. My goal with this post is to demystify SEO and help you take some steps in the right direction towards leveraging it to grow your online brand.

What is SEO?
SEO is the process by which a website is positioned to be indexed by search engines and can be found by people searching online. There are many aspects to the “art and science” of SEO and I am going to share several of them.

Essentially, SEO can be broken down into three segments; on page (on site) optimization, off page (off site) optimization, and Optimal Website Technology. Each of these segments contains technical factors that are fed into a computer program on the search engines’ web servers and analyzed. You will often hear the term algorithm and that is the set of rules that the program is going to look at to determine where your website should rank in the search results. Let’s look at the aspects of each of these segments.

On Page Website Optimization
This refers to the elements that can be enhanced within your website. These include:
  • Keyword Research – At the heart of all online marketing is keyword research. Without knowing what keywords your intended audience is searching for, you will not know what keywords to implement in your campaigns.
  • Implementing keywords into the website – Essentially, the search engines will want to see the keywords that you want found to be used within the copy and code on your website.
  • Creating website content that is compelling – You can have the right keywords and even get people to your website. However, if your web copy isn’t compelling, people won’t stay. In addition, the search engines do factor in how long someone stays on your website in their ranking algorithm (referred to as bounce rate).
  • Creating website content that has sufficient length – Search engines love content. Make sure that your web pages have sufficient copy (meaning words and not images). Ideally, you should have at least 500 words on each relevant page of your website.
  • The use of HTML Headers – This may be getting a little technical, but Header Tags are HTML elements that signify importance of the content within them. For example, a page title should be coded with an H1 Header, which is the largest, to signify it is the most important content on the page. It’s ideal to use keywords within your page title, but not just for the sake of using them. The page ultimately has to read well to a visitor or they won’t move forward with your company. A good content management system (CMS) such as WordPress makes it easy to apply the header code you want to use appropriately.
  • Internal Website Linking – Search engines like it when you make it easy for website visitors to find information within your website. If you add links within your copy to direct readers to learn further information about your offerings, the search engines will appreciate that and give you credit for that in the ranking algorithm.
  • Optimization of Images – While search engines are getting better at reading images through image recognition programming, you still need to optimize your images to help the search engines best index them. One way of optimizing your images is by naming the image, intentionally using keywords related to your website. When naming your images, you can keep the auto generated file name such as KMD4005.jpg or you can rename that image something like home-health-care.jpg. I think you can already see why it makes sense to do this. You are both helping the search engines know what the image is and also using the keywords that the image (or website) should be indexed for.
  • Using Alt Text for Your Images – The purpose of alt text is two-fold. First, by adding alt (alternative) text to your images, those who are visually impaired can use readers to understand what the images would represent on the page. Secondarily, when you write the alt text, it provides the search engines a better understanding of what your image is and how to best index it in their database. To implement alt text, you can use an ALT HTML tag within your Images (IMG) tag. Thankfully, your CMS should be able to help you do this without hand coding.

Off Page Website Optimization
This refers to elements of SEO that take place outside of your website. It has mostly to do with getting other sites (ideally more reputable sites) to reference or link to your website. In theory, having more sites link to – or reference – your website, is a measure of its popularity. Here are several key off-page optimization tactics:
  • Create Local Search Citations – There are literally hundreds of sites that serve local audiences, where you can create a business profile (usually free) that provides an opportunity to increase your business’s exposure online. Most of these citations contain relevant business information, including a link to your website. Some of the more notable local search sites are Google My Business, Bing Local, and Yelp.
  • Create Social Media Profiles – Similar to creating local search profiles, creating social media profiles are a great opportunity to increase your online footprint. As a note of caution, if you are going to create a social media profile, you should invest the time to create connections and share content within that social network because dormant social media profiles do not reflect well on a business.
  • Create Amazing Content on Your Website – When you create amazing content, others want to link to it in social media posts and their blog posts. This is one of the most critical factors in having others link back to your site. This content can be written blog content, infographics, video content, white papers, or other trusted information that others will want to link to.
  • Guest Blogging – Similarly, to the content you create for your own website, you want to create amazing content and share it from other online communities aside from your own. A great way to do this is by building relationships with bloggers in your industry and earning a spot on their blog as a guest blogger. This will not only put you in front of a new audience, but should earn you a link from their site within your author bio which, is usually at the bottom of a guest blog post.
  • Press & Media Exposure – I always recommend that a business get in the habit of making news. To do this, you need to think differently and find ways to stand out above would-be competitors so that you are newsworthy. You also need to create relationships with journalists in your industry and your local area, as these are the people who will ultimately get your press release read. Please know that churning out press releases through an online press distribution site is not a valid Press & Media Strategy.
  • Business Listings – When you join certain business organizations such as the Chamber of Commerce or the Better Business Bureau, these organizations typically link to your website. A good rule of thumb for whether or not to be listed in a certain online arena is to see if your competitors are there. If they are, the fact that you aren’t could be a vote against you in the ranking algorithm.
  • Charitable Giving – I am not telling you to give money to get people to link to your website, but I will point out that many organizations do acknowledge their donors with web listings, social media, and even press releases. And you can never go wrong by giving!

Optimal Website Technology
It is important to know that how your website is built and hosted also play a role in Search Engine Optimization. Below are several website technology factors that impact SEO:
  • Website Architecture – Most websites today employ what is referred to as a flat website architecture. This means that the URLs are clean and free of non-alphanumeric characters. One of the best website platforms in terms of search engine friendly architecture is WordPress. What started out as a blogging platform quickly became a major player in the website arena and is now used by roughly 30% of websites online.
  • Website Security – Have you ever done a Google search and seen a warning that reads, “this site may be hacked?” This is proof that Google knows when a website has been infected with a virus. It provides this warning to protect the searching public. Having viruses on your site will devalue its ranking online. For this reason, it is just as critical to have antivirus / anti-malware running on your web server as it is on your PC.
  • Web Hosting Platform – Using a reputable web hosting company is another critical factor in ranking well online. If your web host is unstable and you have lots of downtime, the search engines may find 404 (page not found) errors when they try to visit your website. If this remains a pattern, this will devalue your rank in the search engines.

Similarly, if your website is slow to load due to an improper hosting configuration, it will also devalue your site rankings. Search engines want to provide users with a great user experience and waiting a long time for a site to load is not synonymous with a great user experience.
  • Mobile Friendliness – Google announced a few years ago that they would devalue the rank of any website that was not mobile friendly. This is due to the immense growth of mobile devices combined with the desire to give users a great search experience. If your site visitors show up and can’t read your website because the text is too small, there is a high likelihood that they will hit the back button and choose another website. If this happens over time, that will signal the search engines to devalue your ranking so they don’t deliver a poor user experience.
  • Use of XML Sitemap – An XML sitemap is an HTML element that can help search engines find the content within your website. If you have a large website, using an XML sitemap is more critical as there is more content to get indexed in the search engines. There are XML sitemap generators online that can be used to create your sitemap, which can then be uploaded to your web host. If your website is built on the WordPress platform, there are plugins that can be used to generate an XML sitemap.

Importance of Answering “What is SEO?”
I am sure answering the question “What is SEO?” is more than you likely expected, but now you know why SEO can be such a costly endeavor. Keep in mind that each bullet point could be expanded into its own detailed “how to” guide. My recommendation is to start with what you manage to do on your own and see how much progress you make before reaching out for professional help.

About the Author
Anthony Kirlew is a Speaker, Author, Digital Marketing Expert, and the Founder of Infinion Marketing, an award-winning Digital Marketing Agency. He has been featured in numerous media outlets, including Search Engine Land, SUCCESS Magazine, Mashable, Entrepreneur, CIO, and Social Media Today. How to Blog: Tips for Blog Posts That Get Read - Blogging for Business - Gilbert Chamber of Commerce
JasmineHolmes's avatar
How to Blog: Tips for Blog Posts That Get Read - Blogging for Business

I've always loved technology. Don't get me wrong, I'm not a gadget kind of girl. I'm all about about form following function. I love technology – not because it makes me cool but because it makes my life better. I could care less about having the newest iPhone but I couldn't live without blogs.

And here's the thing, I bet most of you couldn't live without blogs either. Think I'm crazy? When's the last time you read a news article, watched a video, or followed a tutorial online? Guess what, those are all types of blogs. Let's explore blogs and how to blog successfully.

OK Then, What is Blogging?

One reason blogs might be confusing is that most of us aren't clear about exactly what makes a blog a blog and not a website. Businesses are to blame for much of this confusion. They often combine a website and blogs into a single presence, blurring the lines between the two. There are two main characteristics that set a blog apart from a website: regular updates and interactivity.

Types of Blogs

Though blogs have some common features, they are also very diverse. Think of blogs like a mullet: business in the front and party in the back.

"Blog" is actually a shortened version of the term "weblog". Back in the day when we actually called them weblogs, most blogs were little more than personal diaries. Some of them still are. But soon after their inception, businesses began using blogs as a marketing tool.

To add to the confusion, the term blog can apply to a whole site or a single article within the site. For the sake of simplicity, for the rest of this article, when I talk about a blog, I'll be referring to content – not a website or platform.

Three Types of Blogs

Blogs can be broken into three very broad categories:
  1. Corporate blogs focus on your company and are more like press releases than blog posts. You may mention people in the company but they are rarely the focus and  contain no personal details. These posts don't mention competitors or discuss larger industry concerns. These types of posts are not very interactive so they usually don't generate comments.
  2. Human blogs focus on – you guessed it – people! These posts are a great way to put a face on your company and create deeper connections with customers and prospects. These posts are meant to be engaging, so include personal details to encourage comments.
  3. Category or lifestyle blogs are topical in nature; a travel blog for example. These blogs cover the breadth of an industry. They're a great way to showcase your industry expertise and point of view. Don't be afraid to swim against the mainstream; a strong opinion will generate comments and engagement.
A Word About Guest Blogging

Blogging isn't just something you do on your site, you can also contribute to other blogs. Guest blogging, the fourth type of blog, can be a good alternative if you're not ready for the work of your own blog. If guest blogging sounds good to you, I'll cover that topic when I talk about how to blog, so read on!

Blogging: Tech Tool or Big Waste of Time?

Now that you have a better understanding of blogging, let's talk about why you'd want to blog. Yes, blogging can be a lot of work. And unless you are writing a personal diary, it's a great tool to have in your marketing toolbox.

It's a Fact: Search Engines (Google) Reward Quality Content

Creating and sharing relevant and informative content is one of the best ways to improve your business' visibility. (Or in less fancy marketing speak, blogging helps new customers to find your business.) Blog articles are one of the easiest and most logical ways to incorporate keywords that are relevant to your business or industry into your digital presence.

Other Ways Blogging Benefits Businesses

Besides being a key tool for Search Engine Optimization (SEO), blogging also helps you:
  1. Be the expert. Set yourself apart from the competition when you take a unique stand on a topic or answer a controversial question. This will help establish you as a thought leader in your industry and attract new clients.
  2. Answer common questions. If you’re like me, you’re answering a lot of the same questions over and over. Write and share blog posts that answer the most common questions your prospects or customers are asking. Use it as a reference the next time someone asks that question.
  3. Establish brand messaging. Brand messaging is about more than the mission of your company. It’s about how you make your customers feel. On your blog, you have the opportunity to present a thoughtful, insightful, and personable message to your customers and prospects that builds your brand messaging.
Blogging offers a unique opportunity to reach your customers while also getting found online by prospects. If you’re not blogging for business, you’re missing opportunities to grow your business and establish yourself as an expert in your field.

Secrets for Success

How to Blog: Start Here!

Before you begin blogging, you need to put some thought into the purpose and goal of your efforts. The key here is strategy. Besides getting more traffic, why do you want to blog? Visits are great but almost meaningless if you don’t have a further call-to-action in mind.

Your goals will also determine the right mix of content (how much of each blog type). Every business will have a slightly different mix based on goals and competitors. As a general rule, you should include a bit of each of the four types: corporate, human, category and guest.

Once you have a clear goal and content mix in mind, it's time to start writing!

My Tips for Successful Business Blogging:
  1. It’s like Nike: Just do it. Google loves when new content is added to websites. Not only that, but your clients and prospects would love to hear from you.
  2. Provide value to your readers. Don’t give away all your secrets, but provide useful information about your business or industry. You might share the same type of information on your blog that you would in a prospect or client meeting.
  3. Stop overthinking it. Answer a question people ask about your business. Write an opinion of a new industry trend or share news about your business. Don’t let the post sit unfinished. Write. Edit. Publish.
  4. Make a note of it. Whether you carry a notebook or use an app like Evernote, write down an idea when it comes to mind. Often, blog post ideas come from questions clients ask or articles we read but are gone when we sit down to write.
How to Blog: Crafting a Post

There is no secret formula to writing a great post but there are a few guidelines to follow:
  1. Be yourself. You want your content to be interesting, entertaining and maybe even funny. Try to relax and have fun with it. Tell a story or joke or both to get the readers warmed up.
  2. Stay true to your brand. You also need to consider what personality you want the post to have. It must be consistent to your brand and company personality.
  3. Chose one topic per article and stick to it. Don’t try to cram too many concepts into a post. Your articles should be at least 300 words, though 500 to 700 is better. A post should be long enough to offer real value or insight on your topic.
  4. On the topics, of well ... topics, be smart when choosing what you write about. Start with your keyword research for inspiration.
  5. Use Relevant Keywords. This doesn’t mean jamming your post with keywords. Rather, target how and where you use keywords. Include them in the title and as close to the beginning of the post as makes sense to the reader. This will help the post (and your website) get found organically.
  6. Include contact information or call to action. Readers want to know how to reach you or what to do next. Add a short paragraph about you, including contact information, at the end of your post. Or provide a clear directive for what they should do next (call for a consultation, schedule an appointment).
  7. Repurpose. Get the most from your blogging efforts by sharing blog posts on social media and in newsletters.
How to Blog and Overcoming Challenges

If you're struggling with what to write, in my blog post Conquer Writer's Block with These 9 Blog Post Ideas, I offered simple steps for developing a list of ideas, including answering your most-asked questions.

If you’re like many of the business owners I’ve met, the real reason you're not blogging is that you don't have time. There are too many other business-related tasks to complete. While you know blogging is a great way to get Google’s attention, it’s not as important as networking, professional development, or meeting new customers and prospects.

If you're struggling to find the time or to keep to a schedule, you might need outside help. Consider guest blogging or hiring a pro.

Guest Blogging to the Rescue

It requires less commitment for the same or potentially bigger results. Guest blogging provides the same benefits as having your own blog but for less commitment. When writing for someone else, you get online visibility and, depending on the site, possibly more than on your own site, exposure to the right audience, and the opportunity to establish serious street cred.

A few tips for how to blog as a guest:
  • Choose wisely. Make sure the blog your contributing is targeted at your prospective customers. If you work only with women, it doesn't make sense to guest post a blog that caters to men.
  • Build relationships. Nobody likes an over eager salesperson. You have to build trust and a relationship with a prospective site before asking to write a guest post. Follow the company or person on social media and share their content or make thoughtful comments on existing blog posts to start the conversation.
  • Create good content. This should go without saying but here it is: It's a big deal to write a guest post – don't mess it up with poorly written or overly salesy content. All blog posts (guest or otherwise) should be educational and entertaining first and sell second.
Hire a Pro

Even though you know how to blog, if blogging is forever sitting on your to-do list, then you need to hire a professional. All pros aren't create equal:
  • If you're an infrequent blogger or on a limited budget, a freelance blogger or writer is a good choice. Because they're offering a more targeted scope of work and narrower skill set, they charge less per post than an agency.
  • Marketing agencies offer a much more comprehensive suite of services. They're a good choice if you have aggressive goals or want to make your website your primary lead source. They'll be able to help with writing, SEO and branding.
Before you hire a pro, ask these questions to make sure they know how to blog:
  • What is your process for creating blog posts? Asking this question sets your expectation as a client and provides insight about the blogger. If there is no process, you may be spinning your wheels trying to get content from them. Ask what you need to provide for them to be able to write blog posts for your business and whether or not they will be providing an editorial calendar and/or list of topics for your review. A professional blogger won’t need to be spoon fed information, but will want to understand your business, industry, and expectations. They will also be able to make recommendations for topics, keywords, and frequency of posts while providing clear expectations for their work.
  • What is your pricing structure? While some bloggers work on a per-post or per-word basis, you may get the biggest return on your investment by buying in bulk. Purchasing posts is more economical (one post at a time will cost a lot more) and ensures you have a stockpile of new, relevant content.
What Are Your Waiting For?

While it takes some time and planning, blogging is an important tool to help your business get found online. If you are feeling overwhelmed by learning how to blog, don't be afraid to enlist the help of professional. And remember, it's like Nike: Just do it!

About the Author: Jasmine Holmes

With over 15 years of graphic design and marketing experience, Jasmine Holmes loves being able to say, “I’m older than I look.” Jasmine is the owner of 910 West, a digital marketing company serving small businesses in Gilbert and throughout the US. It is her combined experience in traditional print and online marketing that sets 910 West apart from the competition and makes Jasmine a marketing expert. At 910 West, she works with a talented team to deliver small business digital marketing essentials—local search, email marketing and brand development. When not working, you might find her at a farmer’s market buying locally grown veggies. Jasmine passionately believes in the power of small business and loves working with them to create lasting success. August 2017 Membership Anniversaries - Gilbert Chamber of Commerce
Jessica Sanchez's avatar
August 2017 Membership Anniversaries

We are thrilled to recognize the following members for their continued support of the Gilbert Chamber. Please look for the 2017-18 window decal at these businesses and be sure to thank them for their support in fostering a healthy and sustainable business climate here in Gilbert.

August 2017

25+ Years
Edward Jones - Bret Seeley, CFP®, AAMS®, Financial Advisor
Gilbert Dental Center
Spectrac Suspension Centers, Inc.

16-20 Years
California Wire Cloth, Inc.
Monterrey Tile Company

11-15 Years
Buffalo Wild Wings
Integrity Fleet Service, LLC
Nedda Tax Accountant, Inc.

6-10 Years
Alianza Designs
Batteries Plus
Desert Schools Federal Credit Union
Gilbert Road Self Storage
Liberty Mutual Insurance
Lil' Einstein's
Orbital ATK
SanTan Volkswagen
Southeast Valley Regional Association of Realtors
Unicon, INC.

1-5 Years
20 Volume Salon and Spa
365 Mechanical, LLC
Ace of Shades
Carlife Gilbert
Coach Works Automotive & Auto Body
Dignity Health Foundation - East Valley
Dr. Robert J. Brown D.D.S.
Emerald Palace
Existential Consulting Group
Higher Grounds Roastery & Cafe
Ideal Plumbing
Legacy Chiropractic
Liberty Mutual Insurance
Lofgreen's Office Products
Maricopa County
My Dental Assisting Institute
Noodles & Company
OrthoArizona Mezona Division - Rome Towers
ProSmart Realty-Frank Crockett PLC
R and S Foam Roofing, LLC
Realty ONE Group - Allan M. Hostetler
Savanna House Assisted Living & Memory Care
Significant Cleaning Service
SpeedPro Imaging Mesa-Gilbert
The Center at Val Vista
The Egg I Am
The Harding Firm
The Poling Team Real Estate, Hyres International Real Estate
Top Choice Electric
Vintage Rental Homes
Willow Massage + Spa July 2017 Membership Anniversaries - Gilbert Chamber of Commerce
Jessica Sanchez's avatar
July 2017 Membership Anniversaries

We are thrilled to recognize the following members for their continued support of the Gilbert Chamber. Please look for the 2017-18 window decal at these businesses and be sure to thank them for their support in fostering a healthy and sustainable business climate here in Gilbert.

July 2017

21-24 Years
Mesa Verde Property Mgmt. Inc.

16-20 Years
Gilbert Chapter of United Mesa Firefighters
State Farm Insurance - Kristi Kiernan

11-15 Years
Big League Dreams Gilbert
Gilbert Hospital
SanTan Village
Wells Fargo Bank

6-10 Years
A.T. Still University
AlphaGraphics of Gilbert
Approved Plumbing, LLC
FirstBank- East Valley
GameTruck East Valley
Grimaldi's Coal Brick Oven Pizza
Joe's Farm Grill
National Bank of Arizona
Riggs, Ellsworth & Porter, PLC
Tipton Group Real Estate
Willett CPA

1-5 Years
Adrianne Lynch - EXP Realty, LLC
Baja Lawn Design & Pool Service
Behind the Scene Execs
Burguan Strickman Law, PLLC
Chandler-Gilbert Arc
Collins Comfort Masters
Cox Advisors, LLC
Cruise Planners - Arizona Cruise & Travel
Delta 4 Benefits
Dignity Health - Ironwood Cancer Center
Doherty Insurance Group
Edwards Plumbing
Emerging Insights
Firehouse Subs - Market Street
Grand Canyon University
Heritage Financial Strategies - Shanna Tingom
Lennar Homes - Layton Lakes
Menchie's Frozen Yogurt - Gilbert Gateway
Mercy Housing Arizona
Merrill Lynch - Fred Arbona
Nothing Bundt Cakes
Pieceful Solutions
Residence Inn by Marriott Phoenix Gilbert
Save the Family
Shun the Sun Foundation, Inc.
Southwest Premier Insurance Agency, LLC
The Elegant Barn ADA Lawsuit Synopsis - Websites - Gilbert Chamber of Commerce
Kathy Tilque's avatar
ADA Lawsuit Synopsis - Websites

In reaction to an unprecedented number of lawsuits filed against area businesses last year, the East Valley Chambers of Commerce Alliance worked with lawmakers to introduce legislation this past session that ends the unscrupulous shakedown practice. Included in the new law is a provision regarding websites that helps nearly every business in the East Valley.

Courts are divided on the issue of a business website being an extension of its physical location. Most business websites do not include closed captioning of video, background tracks, and include text within graphics. The new Arizona law states that a business cannot be sued for a noncompliant website. Businesses should comply with disability law and this allows Arizona to “push pause” on the issue until a definitive court ruling.

This is another example of how your Chamber is at work for you at the Arizona Capitol each Legislative Session. “Christmas in July” Stocks United Food Bank Shelves During Slow Summer Months - Gilbert Chamber of Commerce
Jessica Sanchez's avatar
“Christmas in July” Stocks United Food Bank Shelves During Slow Summer Months

“Christmas in July” is a program created in 2007 to help United Food Bank (UFB) stock our shelves during our slow summer months. Many may be surprised to learn that demand on food banks is greatest in the June – September timeframe.  Additionally, when school is out, thousands of Arizona children are not receiving free or reduced breakfast and lunch.  In an effort to ensure those in the East Valley and eastern counties of the state are fed during the summer, we’ve partnered with local chambers of commerce in Maricopa County, the Gilbert Chamber included, to host food drives and expose member businesses to this need.  Over the last 8 years, through the generosity of the chamber businesses that have participated in this program, we have provided nearly 600,000 meals to the hungry. On behalf of the UFB Board, thank you; and we hope you’ll join the fight to end hunger in our state this year too.


Rustyn Sherer
Chairman of the Board Great news for Gilbert Businesses – Revised Sign Code Approved! - Gilbert Chamber of Commerce
Kathy Tilque's avatar
Great news for Gilbert Businesses – Revised Sign Code Approved!

After two-years of negotiating and stakeholder meetings, the Town Council approved the revised sign code that is business-friendly, easier to navigate, and provides much more clarity.  The Chamber is proud to have been a key stakeholder representing your interests, especially as the Town delicately ensured compliance with the Supreme Court case ruling.

Elements of the revised sign code include extending various sign types throughout the community, allowing for new lighting technology, ensuring sufficient time is allowed to replace and repair signs, reduction in spacing between monument signs with the property, additional A-Frame/Flying banners per business, easy-to-read tables and illustrations all stand out as new items. 

This has been a heavy-lift for the Town Staff, Council, and members of our Public Policy committee as we worked with restrictions placed by the Supreme Court relating to not regulating signs based on content; especially as cities across the nation are waiting for our code to be written prior to revising sign codes within their own community.  Thank you to all for your hard work and commitment to a business-friendly environment in Gilbert.

You may find the revised sign code online at  With every revision of the code, we will always find new items to revise, clarify or add; so, we will take another look at this within the next year.  Let us know your feedback in the meantime so we can include that in our discussions! Gilbert Chamber and EVCCA Weigh In On Important Healthcare Bill In US Senate - Gilbert Chamber of Commerce
Kathy Tilque's avatar
Gilbert Chamber and EVCCA Weigh In On Important Healthcare Bill In US Senate

The EVCCA sent letters to Senators Flake and McCain urging proper vetting of the Better Care Reconciliation Act (BRCA) which changes the current Affordable Care Act. Changes to ACA are desperately needed, however, those presented in the current version of the BCRA will have inadvertent negative impacts on Arizona.

Two major areas were addressed in the letter - accessibility, affordability, and efficiency of insurance coverage for all businesses - solo entrepreneurs, small, medium and large; and Arizona is not positioned to bear the more than $7.1 billion of costs over the next eight years to the Arizona General Fund if cuts to the Medicare program were to occur.

Click here to read the entire letter.

. June 2017 Membership Anniversaries - Gilbert Chamber of Commerce
Jessica Sanchez's avatar
June 2017 Membership Anniversaries

We are thrilled to recognize the following members for their continued support of the Gilbert Chamber. Please look for the 2016-17 window decal at these businesses and be sure to thank them for their support in fostering a healthy and sustainable business climate here in Gilbert.

June 2017

21-24 Years
R & K Building Supplies, Inc.

16-20 Years
Firebird Housing Specialists
Imagine Charter School at West Gilbert

11-15 Years
Advance Paper & Maintenance Supply
Wells Fargo Bank

6-10 Years
910 West
Arizona AG Marketing & Consulting Group, INC.
John's Refrigeration
Liberty Market
San Tan Charter School

1-5 Years
About Care
Ace Vending, Inc.
American Orchards Senior Community
Arizona Premier Insurance Agency, LLC
Arizona Spine and Joint Hospital
Checklist Inspections
Elaine Kessler Photography
Farm Bureau Financial Services - Nikki Schaal, LUTCF
Friends for Life Animal Rescue
Gilbert Education Association
Guild Mortgage Company
Hampton Inn & Suites East Mesa
Kiki O Jewelry
Law Office of Allyn Langford, PLLC
Legacy Traditional School
Little Sunshine's Playhouse & Preschool
N2 Publishing - Matt Dallas
National Payroll Specialists
Native Grill and Wings
NexMetro Communities
Offbeat and Unique, LLC
Orange Leaf Frozen Yogurt
School of Rock
SmartWrap LLC
StanCraft Marine Center
Team Afterburn
The Joint San Tan Village
The Spectrum Group at Revelation Real Estate
Ultra Brite Home Services, LLC
Zachary Law Group May 2017 Membership Anniversaries - Gilbert Chamber of Commerce
Jessica Sanchez's avatar
May 2017 Membership Anniversaries

May 2017 Membership Anniversaries

We are thrilled to recognize the following members for their continued support of the Gilbert Chamber. Please look for the 2016-17 window decal at these businesses and be sure to thank them for their support in fostering a healthy and sustainable business climate here in Gilbert.

May 2017

25+ Years
Southwest Gas Corporation
Wells Fargo Bank

16-20 Years
Gilbert Rotary Club
Tomar Electronics
UMB Bank

11-15 Years
Charleston's Restaurant
The Edge at Lyon's Gate

6-10 Years
BRIO Tuscan Grille
Carrabba's Italian Grill
Chick-fil-A at Gilbert Gateway Towne Center
Gilbert Cardiology
Oregano's Pizza Bistro, Inc.
Pet Butler Arizona
TNT Shredding LLC.

1-5 Years
Ancient Oils - Modern Healing
Axis Welding LLC
Banner Home Care and Hospice
Big Frog Custom T-Shirts & More
Carpets of Arizona
Champion Janitorial Supply
Everybody Loves Fondue
Expert Maintenance Systems, Inc.
Gentle Dental
Girl Scouts- Arizona Cactus Pine Council
HR 1Source, LLC
JB Water Plumbing & Water Treatment
Jeana R. Morrissey, PLLC (Morrissey Law)
Kneaders Bakery & Cafe
M.R. Tanner Construction
Mariposa Point of Gilbert
One Medical Group
Plumbing Medic Inc.
Popeye's Chicken
Popeye's Chicken
Preach Clothing
Premier Accounting & HR
ReMax Infinity
Renaissance Community Partners
Robert Russman Realtor
Shoppers Supply
State Farm Insurance - Peyton Parker
T I Fitness
The Falls Event Center, LLC
The Well Chiropractic Clinic
Triple Helix Investigations, LLC.
True REST Float Spa
Walmart Store 3861 April 2017 Membership Anniversaries - Gilbert Chamber of Commerce
Jessica Sanchez's avatar
April 2017 Membership Anniversaries

April 2017 Membership Anniversaries

We are thrilled to recognize the following members for their continued support of the Gilbert Chamber.  Please look for the 2016-17 window decal at these businesses and be sure to thank them for their support in fostering a healthy and sustainable business climate here in Gilbert.

April 2017

25+ Years
A & P Nursery & Lawnmower Shop
Falconer Funeral Home
Gilbert Veterinary Hospital, P.C.
Sam's Club
State Farm Insurance - JoAnn Saba Alvarez
Wells Fargo Bank

16-20 Years
Arizona State University
Costco Wholesale # 481
Landings Credit Union

11-15 Years
Cox Communications
Villa Siena

6-10 Years
Arizona Hardwood Floor Supply
Best Western Legacy Inn & Suites
DES Arizona Workforce Connection/East Valley Employment Service
Magic Pest Control
Seville Golf and Country Club
Sub Zero Ice Cream & Yogurt
The I.T. Workshop, LLC
VIP Airsoft Arena

1-5 Years
AAA Arizona, Business Insurance
Ace Payroll Services
Aflac - Emily Evans
Arizona Bank and Trust
Arizona Wilderness Brewing Co.
BenefitMall - Payroll Products and Services
Big Marlin Group
Center for Dermatology & Plastic Surgery
CenturyLink Store
Dream Vacations - Karen Coleman-Ostrov
Edward Jones - Mallory Reis
Holly Pritulsky Agency
Joyride Taco House
Liv Northgate
Living Spaces
Living Stone Yoga Studio
MedPost Urgent Care
Monarch Medical Group PLLC
Office Depot OfficeMax
Prudential Insurance
Redstone at SanTan Village
Rocky Mountain Restoration
Sharp Creek Contracting, Inc.
Shoppers Supply
Snooze A.M. Eatery
Staples The Office Supply Superstore
STAX 3D Printing
Sun Valley Medical Billing, LLC
Sweetz Cold Brew Coffee Co
True Home Maintenance Air Conditioning & Heating, LLC
TruthLoveChange Foundation
Wilson-Goodman Law Group, PLLC
Zappone's Italian Bistro The Governor just signed the ADA fix! - Gilbert Chamber of Commerce
Kathy Tilque's avatar
The Governor just signed the ADA fix!

The Governor just signed the ADA fix!

Thanks to the EVCCA, Arizona businesses are protected from drive-by lawsuits and the first state in the nation to protect business websites. The bill changes the litigation processes for alleged violations under the Arizona Americans with Disability Act (Arizona ADA). It specifies that a private entity is allowed 30 days to comply with Arizona ADA regulation, unless a building permit is required; in which case a private entity is allowed an additional 60 days to resolve a violation. The specified time is tolled from the time after submitting an application until a final determination is provided and is not included in the calculation unless the delay is caused by the private entity. However, websites are exempt from the Arizona ADA.

This bill has been a priority of the EVCCA this session as the East Valley was targeted for hundreds of frivolous lawsuits against small businesses in which many settled out of court for thousands of dollars.  The EVCCA is a firm supporter of compliance and continues to educate businesses on size, placement of signs, parking spaces, etc. March 2017 Membership Anniversaries - Gilbert Chamber of Commerce
Sarah Watts's avatar
March 2017 Membership Anniversaries

We are thrilled to recognize the following members for their continued support of the Gilbert Chamber.  Please look for the 2016-17 window decal at these businesses and be sure to thank them for their support in fostering a healthy and sustainable business climate here in Gilbert.

March 2017

25+ Years

21-24 Years
Barnes Fine Jewelers
Gilbert Boys & Girls Club
International Minute Press of Gilbert

11-15 Years
Arizona Animal Wellness Center
Hale Centre Theatre
Rayhons Financial Solutions / Voya Financial Advisors

6-10 Years
4th Wall Productions, LLC.
Carma Brewer
Extra Mile Floor Care
Sante' of Mesa
Savante Salon
Sunrise Urology, PC
Superstition Lakes Dental
Superstition Springs Golf Club
Z Physique LLC

1-5 Years
American Family Insurance - Ken Waddill
Arizona's Dukes of Air, LLC
Barrio Queen
BHB Remodel & Renovation
Bobby-Q II LLC
Cafe Rio Mexican Restaurant
CertaPro Painters of Gilbert
Chandler/Gilbert Family YMCA
Clear Online Video
Club Z! In-Home Tutoring Service of Gilbert
Creo School
Daley Connections, LLC
Dani Kahn Designs
Eternal Event Design
Fairway Independent Mortgage Corporation
Farmers/Fiddler Insurance Agency
Heritage Pointe Apartment Homes
Horizon Community Bank
Independent Appliance Repair DBA MSM Technologies
Leading Edge Academy & Gilbert Early College
Lowe's of Gilbert
My Accountant Bookkeeping & Tax Service Inc.
NextHome Source
NOVA Home Loans
Prime Health & Wellness, LLC.
Resource Leadership Group
Silver Creek Inn Memory Care
Strong Tower Insurance Group
The Ehlen Team, RE/MAX Solutions
Thirsty Lion Gastropub & Grill
Thrivent Financial - Warner Ranch Group
Withey Morris, PLLC
Y FIT Fitness Training February 2017 Membership Anniversaries - Gilbert Chamber of Commerce
Sarah Watts's avatar
February 2017 Membership Anniversaries

February 2017 Membership Anniversaries

We are thrilled to recognize the following members for their continued support of the Gilbert Chamber.  Please look for the 2016-17 window decal at these businesses and be sure to thank them for their support in fostering a healthy and sustainable business climate here in Gilbert.

25+ Years
Norwood Furniture

21-24 Years
Wells Fargo Bank

11-15 Years
Brechbill Consulting, LLC
Costco Wholesale # 644
Mariposa Gardens Memorial Park & Funeral Care
The Leadership Centre
Wildflower Bread Company

6-10 Years
DoubleTree by Hilton Phoenix-Gilbert & SanTan Elegante Conference Center
Edward Jones - Ray Thompson Financial Advisor
Hampton Inn & Suites Phoenix-Gilbert
Hyatt Place Phoenix / Gilbert
Newman Realty
Presidential Pools, Spas & Patio
The Original Basket Boutique
Valley Women for Women OB/GYN

1-5 Years
2UTire & Wheel
American Cancer Society
Banner Neuro Wellness
Bold Roost Cafe
Cantor Crane - Personal Injury Lawyers
Chandler Christian Community Center
Desert Schools Federal Credit Union - SanTan Village
Dignity Health Arizona General Hospital Emergency Room- Gilbert
Essential Rehabilitation Services, LLC
Farm Bureau Financial Services - Heather Suess
Fat Cats Entertainment Center
Gateway Executive Suites
Groundzero Plumbing, Air Conditioning & Heating
Henry Brown Automotive Group
Homestar Financial Corporation
Isagenix International
Jester's Billiards
Lifetime Heart & Vascular
Peoples Mortgage
Phend Plumbing
Publication Layout
Red Wing Shoes
Rigid Industries
Rio Rico Mexican Grill
San Tan Mountain View Funeral Home & Advance Planning Center
Southwestern Retirement Planning Advisors, Inc.
The Therapy Farm, LLC.
Whitestone Reit Thank You For Your Support of the Chinese Auction Benefit Dinner - Gilbert Chamber of Commerce