RalphWillett's avatar
TAX LAW Changes That Affect 2017

Did you know that the “Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018” signed on February 9, 2018 and the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act signed on December 22, 2017 have provisions that affect 2017 taxes?

CONGRESS passes “Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018” on February 9, 2018

This 2018 law affects some provisions of Tax Law for 2017
Early this morning, February 9, 2018: The US Congress passed and President Trump signed the “Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018” (BBA). This has some impact on individuals and businesses for 2017 in its 652 pages. Primarily, this act extended some deductions that had expired on December 31, 2016, but now will expire December 31, 2017.

So why would Congress use a 2018 law to change 2017 tax law, when less than two months earlier Congress passed a massive overhaul of the tax code? Simply put, it deals with the way Congress is passing the law to get around a 60 vote in the Senate. Now, we turn to some of the changes enacted in 2018 that affect 2017.

Some of the changes now back in the law through December 31, 2017 are:
  1. Mortgage insurance premiums
  2. Above-the-line deduction for qualified tuition and education expenses
  3. Exclusion from income of discharge of qualified principal residence indebtedness
  4. Nonbusiness energy property credit
  5. Energy efficient new homes credit
If you paid mortgage insurance premiums, they are now deductible for 2017. Most mortgage companies did not report this since it was not the law, but now it is. So you may likely see a revised mortgage statement 1098 for the 2017 tax year. If you paid mortgage insurance premiums, you should gather the information. Tax software including the IRS computers is not set up to accept this just yet, so you can see some changes coming during the filing season that are already in progress.

This BBA also calls on the IRS to create a new tax form for seniors (presumably those over age 65). We will see what transpires throughout this year as to what that form will look like.

This February 2018 Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 comes on the heels of the December 2017 “Tax Cuts and Jobs Act” (TCJA) passed on December 22, 2017. The TCJA does impact some deductions for 2017, but mainly affects 2018 (more on that later). Here are some of the 2017 deduction changes:
  • 100% Bonus Depreciation for purchases after September 27, 2017
  • Medical Expense Deduction limit lowered to 7.5% of adjusted gross income (instead of the 10%)
  • Loan refinances after 12/15/17

TAX Overhaul

Tax Cuts and Jobs Act signed December 22, 2017

The new tax law has sweeping effects for 2018 and some for 2017 that were discussed above. Here are some highlights of the changes for 2018:
  • 21% Corporate tax rate. Lowers corporate tax rate to a flat 21%; no tiers, so corporations with income below $100,000 will see a tax increase while those above that level will see a decrease in tax.
  • 20% Qualified Business Income Deduction (different from rate reduction). This was enacted to help small businesses that are pass-through entities (S-corps, LLCs) come close to the new lowered corporate rate.
  • Personal rates are lowering
  • Standard Itemized Deduction almost doubles
  • Child Tax credit doubles
  • Personal exemptions are now no longer

S-Corporations and LLCs have an opportunity to have up to a 20% qualified business income deduction. The calculation is not a simple 20% of net income unless the owner’s taxable income is below $157,500 for single taxpayers and $315,000 for married filing joint taxpayers.

If you are over those thresholds, you then have some limits on the 20% deduction. You will need to look at total payroll paid, as this could be a limiting factor. In addition, another limiting factor that could come into play deals with a calculation dealing with a percentage of assets in the business (this limit will be for very few small businesses, so it’s not discussed here). Also, this deduction is limited to positive taxable income. In other words, you will not create a loss with this 20% deduction and any excess not deducted this year is not carried forward into the next year; you lose the unused deduction. When a business has a tax loss in a year, it carries forward to the next year and will have an effect of reducing the 20% deduction in the next year.

Small businesses in certain lines of business will not receive a 20% deduction for qualified business income deduction once their taxable income is above $207,500 for individuals or $415,000 for married filing separate returns. Those industries are: Health, Law, Accounting, Consulting, Performing Arts, Actuarial Services, Athletics, Financial Services, and Brokerage Services.

Ralph Willett has been a CPA for over 30 years. He started his career with a big international accounting firm. He then was CFO of several companies, one of which manufactured a product you would recognize: the “Little Giant Ladder System”. Ralph helped that company grow by over 1,000% by selling the product on TV. He is involved in the community and is President Elect of the Entrepreneurial CPAs here in Phoenix. He also serves on the Board of the Gilbert Chamber of Commerce and is on the Gilbert Chamber Public Policy Committee. February 2018 Membership Anniversaries - Gilbert Chamber of Commerce
Jessica Sanchez's avatar
February 2018 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.

February 2018

25+ Years
Norwood Furniture
Pure Comfort Mattress

21-24 Years

16-20 Years
The Leadership Centre
Wells Fargo Bank

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

6-10 Years
Banner Neuro Wellness
Double Tree by Hilton Phoenix-Gilbert & San Tan Elegant Conference Center
Edward Jones - Ray Thompson Financial Advisor
Gift Baskets of Scottsdale, LLC
Hampton Inn & Suites Phoenix-Gilbert
Henry Brown Automotive Group
Hyatt Place Phoenix / Gilbert
Newman Realty
Presidential Pools, Spas & Patio
Valley Women for Women OB/GYN
Whitestone Reit

1-5 Years
2UTire & Wheel
American Cancer Society
Bailey IT Solutions, LLC
Bold Roost Cafe
Cantor Crane - Personal Injury Lawyers
Desert Schools Federal Credit Union - SanTan Village
Fat Cats Entertainment Center
Gateway Executive Suites
Guild Mortgage Company - Jason Casaus
Isagenix International
Jester's Billiards
Joshua Development
L & D Refrigeration Inc.
LuLaRoe Rebecca Powell
Peoples Mortgage
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.
USA BMX The Benefits of Investing in Your People - Gilbert Chamber of Commerce
EricaBallesteros's avatar
The Benefits of Investing in Your People


“If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.” -John Quincy Adams

Gallup, one of the top global performance-management consulting companies known for its public opinion polls conducted worldwide, shares that the number one reason why people quit their jobs is that they are not able to learn and grow.  From career advancement, promotional opportunities, learning, training, and development, this is a craving embedded within each of us as human beings as are wired to achieve.  Additionally, we have a fundamental need to be appreciated and understood which makes learning how to effectively invest in the growth and development of your people such a critical component to any leader’s daily agenda.

No matter how large your ship is, whether you are a small business owner, or you are the CEO of a 4,000 person company, people perform at their highest level when they are utilizing their natural strengths and talents, and applying those to something meaningful, purposeful. 

So how does a leader identify those and do as John Quincy Adams states-inspire them to dream more, learn more, and become more?  How does a leader keep a pulse on the level of engagement the employee is really at any given time? 

Jim Rohn, who was a famous American entrepreneur, author, and motivational speaker, was constantly guiding others to “work harder on yourself than you do on your job” as he knew that our ability to enjoy a richer quality of life and reap the rewards of a thriving business first came from the thriving individuals within it.

Investing in your people, including yourself, yields an endless amount of benefits. First and foremost, there are many tools out there that help you identify both your core strengths and those on your team that can change the dynamic of how you establish and foster the relationships you build on your team.  Gallup’s StrengthsFinder assessment, now taken by more than 17.8 million people worldwide, gets to the core of who we are, how we tick, and sheds a light on how we are all uniquely designed.  As a leader, if you can learn just how to utilize each individual team member’s strengths, it will both enhance the influence you have as a leader and help you work towards creating a synergistic power among team members.  If you hired people with all the same strengths, it would be challenging to add different perspectives and value to the team.  Utilizing tools like this demonstrates to an employee that you see their individual value and potential to contribute to the team.  Allowing them to exercise those strengths is energizing and, the more effective you become at drawing those out, the more you will see them perform at higher and higher levels.

Expressing gratitude for your people’s work and contribution, is also a critical component to the level of value and worth they feel.  When you invest in your time visiting with them individually on a regular basis and call out the good in what you've observed, you are building a positive reservoir within them that gets them excited to perform.  Whether you visit with them weekly or bi-weekly, your goal is to empower them, inspire them, and discover what they need to keep learning and growing.  Keep feeding that craving they have inside to achieve and be appreciated for their efforts.  That may mean offering a good book in areas they are struggling, aving them partner with another teammate whose strengths can add value to their mental state or overall performance, or maybe sending them to a seminar or workshop that adds new tools to their tool belt to utilize. 
If you are familiar with the success principle of building synergy, you have already discovered a power at work that, once harnessed, this force can carry you to higher levels of achievement and prosperity. When you invest in building  a synergy within each of the forces that make up your team and get everyone to  work together in a positive and harmonious way, you will create a power far greater than the sum of the individual powers.  The keywords being positive, and harmonious.  If joint efforts embody these ingredients, they will complement one another.  However large you want your ship to grow, if you are to be successful in building a strong team to significantly impact the sustainability of your growth, you have to invest your time, be supportive, encouraging, and work towards a common purpose. 

Clarity is the engine of productivity.  When you are clear with your vision, mission, values, and identify the people out there who share those values, are excited by your vision and mission, you will build a team invested in YOU.  Invest in getting clear, invest in yourself, and invest in those you invite on your ship.  Together, you will soar to seas beyond what you ever imagined discovering!   

Author Bio

Erica Ballesteros is a Synergy & Development Specialist with Joshua Development and is driven by a meaningful purpose to make a positive difference in this world and fulfill the JDev EDGE-Enhancing & Developing the Greatness in Everyone.  She lives with her two little dudes, Diego & Mateo, in Queen Creek, AZ and currently plays in active role in her community to impact the development of our future workforce.  Follow her on the Joshua Development page at: facebook.com/jdevedge




http://www.northbaybusinessjournal.com/csp/mediapool/sites/NBBJ/IndustryNews/story.csp?cid=4180440&sid=778&fid=181 How Aware Are You? - Gilbert Chamber of Commerce
TiffanyBellows's avatar
How Aware Are You?

By Tiffany Bellows, Independent Damsel in Defense Pro

Tiffany is a wife, mother of 3 boys & 2 dogs, full-time employee at Boeing, and a loyal Sun Devil. Her passion is to equip women to reduce their risk of violence, educate them on the dangers of distractions and tricky people, and empower women to defend themselves. Damsel in Defense gives her the freedom to let her creativity shine.

How aware are you walking to your car from the grocery store? Are you texting or talking on your cell phone? Did you notice if someone is sitting in the car parked next to yours? When you unlock your doors, do they all unlock at the same time? Do you leave your purse in the grocery cart when you’re unloading? Would you see or hear someone if they ran up to you and tried to push you in the trunk? These are all aspects you should be aware of when conducting such a simple task, no matter what town you live in or the time of day.

You were taught at a very young age to stop, drop, and roll if on fire. However, would you know what to do if approached by an attacker? Would you notice him (or her)? Situational Awareness is a skill. You can learn to be situationally aware by paying attention to the world around you. To achieve this, you need to scan the environment and sense danger, while maintaining the ability to conduct normal activities. If you choose to pay attention, your brain removes the filter between your subconscious and your conscious. This process is called the Reticular Activating System (RAS). By simply telling yourself to “pay attention”, the RAS will scan your brain for, and acknowledge, potential danger when it encounters it. Being able to develop situational awareness is dependent on knowing your environment. Once you know your environment, your mind will recognize disturbances that represent a specific threat or opportunity.

Many women choose to ignore the presence of danger because they think “Nothing has ever happened to me before, so nothing is likely to happen.” This is called the Normalcy Bias. 1 in 12 women are stalked, most not even knowing it. Ten years ago this statistic was 1 in 30. The advent of social media has mapped predators directly to you. Another interrupter of activating your RAS is called Focus Lock. This happens when you are distracted by something that blocks your awareness and all other stimuli. So put away your cell phone!

Let’s go back to the parking lot example, but now with your RAS engaged! This time you walk to your car with your purse around your chest, phone put away, and keys in hand. While walking you’re looking in the cars around you, including yours. You unlock only the trunk, leaving your car doors locked. While loading your trunk, you’re keeping your back to the trunk and continuously looking up and around. After returning the cart, you unlock just the driver door, get in, then immediately lock your door and drive away.

These tips might seem “common sense”, and they are, but technology has morphed into an obstacle you didn’t sign up for! If your cell phone distracts you from driving, wouldn’t it distract you from noticing the creepy guy nonchalantly following you in the store? So put your cell phone away and remind yourself to pay attention, it just might save your life. www.mydamselpro.net/AZTL January 2018 Membership Anniversaries - Gilbert Chamber of Commerce
Jessica Sanchez's avatar
January 2018 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.

January 2018

25+ Years

21-24 Years
Caliente Construction, Inc.
Valley Partnership

16-20 Years
Joe's Real BBQ
Robert J. Voordeckers, CPA

11-15 Years
Dream Vacations
Experts on Sight, LLC
Gilbert Santan Motorplex
Kerr Endodontics, PC
Oasis Orthodontics
OneAZ Credit Union
Parkway Bank
San Tan Ford
Springbok Wellness Centre & Rehab
Watson's Flower Shop

6-10 Years
Bushtex, Inc.
Dragon Wok Fine Chinese Restaurant
Famous Daves Legendary Pit Bar-B-Que
ITDR Business Solutions LLC
Mary Cobb - Ravenswood Realty
OnaMission Home Painting, INC.
Varsity Termite and Pest Control
Wolverine Builders, Inc.

1-5 Years
Alcove at the Islands
American Family Insurance - Paul Gebhard Agency
Arizona Veterinary Specialists
Associated Dental Care Providers
AZ Premier Catering
B&B Blinds and Builder Services, LLC
Blue Skyes Massage & Wellness Center
C2 Tactical
College Nannies + Tutors
Decal Monkey LLC
Dignity Health Urgent Care in Gilbert
Earnhardt Ford
Four Points by Sheraton at Phoenix Mesa Gateway Airport
Foxetech, LLC
Gilbert Sun News/Times Media Group
I Hear You Do Blinds
Life Learning Center Preschool and Childcare
Lighthouse Psychiatry | Advanced TMS Therapy and Research
Little Critters Veterinary Hospital
Ma'am Exams
Miranda Law Firm
Modern Law
No Worries Rooter, LLC.
Pinot's Palette
Starbright Foundation Inc.
Tacos N More Mexican Grill
Terry J. Fong Law Group
Udall CPA Group
Valpak Of Metro Phoenix
Victory AME Church
Vivint, Inc. Gilbert Highlighted As A Top City For Entry Level Jobs - Gilbert Chamber of Commerce
Guest Blog Editor's avatar
Gilbert Highlighted As A Top City For Entry Level Jobs

by Abbey Sumida, Outreach Coordinator, Fundera.com

It is no easy task to figure out where to start a career. However, research shows Gilbert is a great place to start. To help provide a landscape view of the most suitable cities for entry-level job seekers, small business financing site Fundera recently wrote an article on The Top Cities for Entry Level Jobs which highlighted the city and one of its exemplary businesses.

But how exactly does Gilbert have so much potential? Fundera assessed findings from several studies including one by WalletHub, which determined what cities were the best to start a career based on quality of life and professional opportunities. These findings show relative market strength based on metrics like workforce diversity, availability of entry-level jobs, commute time, and monthly average starting salary. These metrics have landed Gilbert notably high on lists such as #3 Best City for Jobs (Forbes) and #12 Best City to Live In (24/7 Wall St).

For each city, Fundera’s article features a business owner that values internship and entry-level job programs. Read more about Gilbert and how its businesses foster meaningful career growth here. How to Find Your Niche Within Your Community - Gilbert Chamber of Commerce
HollyPritulsky's avatar
How to Find Your Niche Within Your Community

I get asked by new agents in my field “How did you get involved in your community so quickly?” My answer is easy … it’s my Chamber experience. In a short five years, having made the most of my Chamber experiences and contacts, I am proud to say I am a Gilbert Chamber member! How did this happen?

Five years ago, I was given the opportunity to move from a corporate role into a sales position. As an independent contractor, I was told that you had to “get out there and make things happen”. My goodness … that was a tall order. I had no idea where to go and who to talk to make things “happen”. What did “happen” even mean?

I started in my comfort zone – my daughter’s school. I had missed out on all of the PTO/PTA type activities when she was in elementary school (since travel was over 50% of my corporate role), but since she was in junior high at the time of my new sales role, I thought “is it too late to be one of those ‘moms?’” The quick answer is no, it’s never too late! I got a notice from the school of the next PTO meeting, and I went. Surprisingly, there were only 12 parents there, unlike the hordes of moms at the elementary level that get involved. As I sat there, I volunteered an answer to a question, and to my amazement, that led to being quickly nominated and elected as Secretary of the PTO on the spot. YIKES! (Note to self, don’t raise your hand without an inkling of where that could lead! Lesson Learned!) The silver lining was that I met a mom like me, and she advised me to check out my local Chamber of Commerce’s Leadership program.

What sold me on this suggestion was the idea that I could enroll in a program that would expose me to multiple areas of my town. The opportunity to learn about things that would benefit my personal life, as well as my ability to network, made this option very appealing. My new friend said I would quickly get an overview of ALL of the places and activities that may be out there for someone like myself; someone who “needed to get out there”.

I applied for and was selected for the next Leadership class at the Chamber. It turned out to be the time of my life! It also provided a springboard into committees and events within the Chamber that piqued my interest. One of them was the Small Business Council, which concentrated on education (which was my corporate background) for increasing business acumen among small business owners. I found a home … and found a launching pad for other areas of the Chamber that excited me. I have made not only business contacts, but true friends.

I encourage everyone that needs to “get out there” to find an organization that can give them the type of exposure that I found within my local Chamber. Meeting business owners of all types within my community has made me a better manager, agent, and mom.

From someone who “Needed to get out there” … and was terrified and clueless on how to start that journey … I am lucky to say that I am out there and loving it! Your Ideal Client: Who They Are and Why You Need One - Gilbert Chamber of Commerce
JasmineHolmes's avatar
Your Ideal Client: Who They Are and Why You Need One

Being your niche’s “jack of all trades and master of none” won’t bring you the profits and freedom you’re after. It leads to wasted money on marketing that attracts the wrong people, and stress from trying to serve clients that were never ideally suited for you in the first place. Avoid making this mistake by becoming a specialist at serving a very specific kind of customer: your ideal client.

Who Is Your Ideal Client?

Your ideal client is the kind of person you want to work with more than any other. They’re looking for the type of product or service you most want to spend your time on, they tend to be happy with their purchases from you, and they’re a pleasure to deal with.

You know what their problems are, plus, you have the skills and knowledge to alleviate their pain points by providing the perfect product or service. You don’t need to guess how to help them because you understand their needs perfectly.

Why You Need Them …

Trying to be the business owner who pleases anyone and everyone is a recipe for failure and frustration. However, when you focus your attention and energy only on your ideal clients, your business life will become exponentially easier and more rewarding. It enables you to stand out from your competition with ease as the obvious go-to authority, spend your time perfecting your skills in your zone of genius, and work with more clients who love what you do (and avoid wasting energy on the ones who don’t).

Being laser focused only on your ideal client also makes it easy to come up with an effective marketing message that attracts them to you with far less expense. The marketing savings come from no longer wasting precious advertising dollars on people who aren’t a good fit (and inevitably fail to convert from prospects to customers).

An Ideal Client Is Not the Same as a Target Market

A target market refers to a group of people based on demographics, raw numbers, and averages, whereas the term “ideal client” refers to individuals. And it’s far easier to think of attracting a certain kind of individual to your business — someone with problems, feelings, desires that you can relate to — than it is to figure out how to attract someone, for example, between the age of 35-45 with an average of 2.2 children and 1.2 pets.

Creating an ideal client profile is the best way to get a clear picture of who you want to meet. If you need some help, I’m hosting a free webinar in January to walking you through the process. View the invite and register here.

Go Get Your Ideal Client

Now that you understand exactly what an ideal client is and why they’re so important to your business, it’s time to direct your efforts at marketing to and serving only those people. The result will be a more rewarding and profitable business for years to come.


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. Open Enrollment Is Here - Gilbert Chamber of Commerce
EmilyEvans's avatar
Open Enrollment Is Here

Dah nuh. Dah nuh. Dah nuh dah nuh dah nuh (insert Jaws theme here). Open enrollment is here! Sounds scary, doesn't it? For some people, it’s the time of year their HR person starts hounding them to get paperwork done, or to sit through an hour long meeting on benefits that make no sense until you have to use them. For others, it’s the time of year to be confused, yet again, on what plan to pick or what’s best for their family.

Here’s a little bit about what to look at when choosing your health insurance plan:

1. Monthly Cost - of course you need to consider what the monthly cost will be; just don’t get stuck here as there are additional things to look at besides just that number.
2. Deductibles - this is the amount of money that will come out of your pocket before your insurance company starts kicking in to help. From what I’ve seen with my clients, most deductibles today range from around $1,500 - $6,000.
1. Out-of-pocket Maximums - this is the amount of money you are responsible for on an annual basis if something major happens. Typically, you’ll see the number 80/20 or something similar thrown around. That means that once you hit your deductible, the insurance company picks up the tab at 80% and you pick it up at 20% until you hit your out-of-pocket maximum. According to the Department of Health & Human Services, these can be up to $7,350 for individuals and $14,700 for families.
2. Co-pay - while this isn’t something that will make or break you, it is good to know what a visit to the doctor will cost if you need to go in. Keep in mind that all health plans are required to have one wellness visit per year with no cost to you. (Just be careful of discussing other issues while you’re there as the doctor will change the appointment from a “wellness” visit to a “diagnostic” visit and can then charge you.)
3. PPO vs. HSA - a PPO will be what you think of when you think health insurance: there’s a wide network, and you can choose your doctor. This type of plan will typically have a smaller deductible and will include co-pays to doctors/specialists. This type of plan is good if you know you go to the doctor on a regular basis and you’ll be using your insurance often. An HSA is what most people are scared of, but in my opinion it’s often a great choice for most people. This will usually have a higher deductible than a PPO plan and you’ll have to meet your full deductible prior to the insurance company stepping in to help. (There are also HMO plans out there that are designed to work like a PPO, but with a limited network)

As a small business owner, you have the choice to offer health insurance benefits or not depending on the number of employees you have; you’ll want to choose carefully based on your budget and may want to look outside the box. There’s more out there than what you normally think of when offering benefits, from self funded plans to defined contribution options. Whether you do or you don’t offer benefits through your company, the points above are important to consider. Always consult a benefits professional to look at all of the different ways to provide additional options for your employees to be protected.


Emily Evans has been an Independent Agent with Aflac since 2011 and started her career because of a major motorcycle accident she and her husband had in 2010. That accident caused them to realize how much people need help when they have a catastrophic illness or injury and she uses that experience daily to help her clients. Emily builds relationships throughout the East Valley with business owners who have a growth mindset, working closely to help them develop strategies to utilize voluntary benefits to create a better culture in their company. She focuses on companies with a growth mindset because she enjoys working in a fast paced environment where people care. On the weekends, Emily enjoys taking naps in her hammock, photography, camping, off-roading, and riding motorcycles. She can usually be found hanging out with her husband, Peter, and their three dogs. To contact Emily, please text “Emily Evans” to 36260 to download her app. December 2017 Membership Anniversaries - Gilbert Chamber of Commerce
Jessica Sanchez's avatar
December 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.

December 2017

25+ Years

21-24 Years

16-20 Years
Flancer's Cafe

11-15 Years
BackFit Health + Spine
CopperPoint Mutual Insurance Company
Sky Harbor International Airport

6-10 Years
A Child's Place at the Ranches, LLC.
Deutsch Architure Group
Gateway Bank
Infinion Marketing
Sidewinder Subs, LLC
The Blau Company, Ltd.

1-5 Years
American Furniture Warehouse
Arizona Painting Company
Associated Architects
Aurora Natural Medicine
AZ Home Team
Brooklyn V's Pizza
Bruster's Real Ice Cream
Burn Boot Camp Gilbert
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage
Copper Springs Resort Lifestyle Communities
Generations at Agritopia
Gilbert Insurance Group, Inc.
Goalside Indoor Sports Center
Jesse Herfel Real Estate Group
KB Real Estate Professionals
Kneaders Bakery & Cafe
La Ristra
Mary Ann Shryack - United Brokers Group Real Estate
Matthews Crossing Food Bank
Midwest Food Bank, Arizona Division
OnePrice Delivery Dry Cleaners & Laundry
Phoenix Children's Hospital - Mercy Gilbert Center
Rivulon - Nationwide Realty Investors
Ross Farnsworth East Valley YMCA
San Tan Hyundai
Stewart Law Group
The Dhaba
The Garage Personal Training
Transamerica Financial Group Division-Michelle Taylor
V's Barbershop
Welcome Wagon
Zerorez Phoenix November 2017 Membership Anniversaries - Gilbert Chamber of Commerce
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: http://hashtagify.me.

• 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.


1. http://www.businessinsider.com/its-been-1-year-since-facebook-bought-instagram-for-1-billion-heres-how-co-founder-kevin-systrom-spent-it-2013-5
2. https://techcrunch.com/2017/04/26/instagram-700-million-users/
3. https://blog.hootsuite.com/instagram-statistics/
4. http://www.businessinsider.com/how-much-money-you-can-earn-on-instagram-2017-4
5. http://fortune.com/2016/07/12/schedule-instagram-post/
6. https://petapixel.com/2017/04/19/shadowbanned-instagram-website-can-tell/

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. 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. 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 emily_evans@us.aflac.com 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, azcentral.com)
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 IRS.gov 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 (https://www.mileiq.com/invite/TMTQD) 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