Category Archives: Announcements


Chamber Champions’ Corner

KKoch HeadshotEach month, the Chamber enlists the help of 20 volunteers to mentor new and current members with involvement in Chamber events and programs. This dedicated group of professionals is rewarded for their efforts through a points system, and the Chamber Champion of the month is announced via our blog. Each quarter, the Champion with the most points will be featured in the Forum for Business Monthly.

This month, the Chamber staff would like to recognize Kathryn Koch-O’Malley with Lanier Upshaw for her visits to Chamber members and her fabulous attitude! Kathryn is a wonderful asset to the Chamber and to the Champions program… Thank you!


Marketing Mondays | Google: Not Just Global

We all know Google is important.  Just how important it has become for business focused on local sales is the theme of this recent post from Duct Tape Marketing.

If your customers and prospects are locally based the importance of concentrating on local optimization of your web site and local directory listings gets more important with each passing day.

Google quietly upped the local search game by inserting the Google Maps local 10 (listing of 10 local businesses) into search results for local products and services regardless of whether the searcher used a geographic term in the search. It used to be that if you wanted to get local results for a good tailor in Kansas City, you typed in “Kansas City tailor.” Now, by detecting the location of your IP address Google will add the local result to the search results for the much more generic phrase “tailor.”

local search

Notice the search in the image above was for the word tailor, but returned listings for Kansas City tailor.

My feeling is that this makes it more important than ever that your local business is showing up in those Google Maps results. (For now the search terms returning these kinds of results are primarily limited to B2C plays like tailor, taco, or electrician )

So, I’ve said this before, but I’ll say it again - get to work on getting listed and getting in the top 10 on Google Maps.

1) Make sure you’ve claimed your listing - Google Local Business Center
2) Enhance your Google profile by adding lots of descriptions, images and videos
3) Optimize your web site for local search with local terms, links, mentions, suburb names, and your business address and phone on every page
4) Get links back to your site with local phrases in the anchor text- ie:”Best Kansas City Tailor”
5) Get reviews on your Google Maps profile – anyone can add a review directly into your profile and Google appears to give profiles with reviews higher weight – be proactive on this one.


Leadership Lakeland Reminder: Applications Due May 8 at 5 pm

Application packets have been mailed out to all those who were nominated for Leadership Lakeland Class XXVII. Nominations closed on April 9 at 5 p.m.

We are excited to be graduating another great class in May and are looking forward to starting the 2009-2010 session in August with an outstanding group of individuals.

If you nominated someone for the program,  please contact them to make sure they did indeed receive their application packet.

For those who have been nominated and have received your packet, we’d like to remind you of the May 8, 2009 deadline.   The application process is completed online, so we encourage you to begin now.   If there is a problem between your computer and our online process, we need to discover it early and get it addressed before the deadline.

LL-Logo_final_outline without 25If you have any questions, please contact the Chamber at 863/688-8551; Carolyn is at ext. 230 and Christine is at ext. 228.

The Leadership Lakeland program has a rich history of graduating leaders who have spent the year enhancing their awareness of the “jewels” and the challenges facing  our community.  They are people who care about Lakeland and find the program to be beneficial in creating stronger connections and collaborations.  


BusinessPrep Small Business Workshop Announced

The Chamber will present a short, but information-packed small business workshop on May 14. With the fluctuating economy, it may be time for may of us to take a look back at our marketing plans, and tweak where necessary. During the 1 1/2 hour session, you can expect to learn tips and tools for finding your niche in today’s market as well as a process for developing your very own marketing plan when you leave!

Because your time is so valuable, the workshop will begin promptly at 7:30 a.m. Doors will open at 7 a.m. for networking and breakfast.

empty classroom

BusinessPrep | Strategies for Prosperity

Developing Your Marketing Plan

May 14 | 7:30-9:00 a.m.

Hosted by Webster University

101 West Main Street, Suite 150 | City Center

$15, Chamber members only (includes breakfast)

Seating is limited… pre-register by visiting the Chamber Store! Walk-ups cannot be accommodated!