Tom Jacobson is an attorney with Swenson Lervick Law Firm located in downtown Alexandria, MN. Swenson Lervick has served the diverse legal needs of clients in Alexandria, Douglas County and all of central Minnesota. The firm was founded in 1961 and since then has grown and changed, but its commitment to providing efficient, innovative and personalized legal service remains the same.
By Abigail Blank, Alexandria Area High School senior
I never really understood the importance of doing business local until my junior year in my marketing class at Alexandria Area High School.
Like many of my other classes, we frequently had guest speakers who would come in and speak to the class. However, there was one specific presenter who delivered a message that stuck with me, Tara Bitzan of the Alexandria Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce. In short the message she delivered had us really look to see what our community has to offer and to spend our money here whenever possible instead of in another town or online.
I think the part that made her presentation stick out more than others was that the problem at hand (our local economy struggling) was something that I could personally make a difference with through my spending choices. The fact that I could help make a difference was one of the key factors that pushed me to team up with two of my classmates to create a doing business local campaign.
After several months of brainstorming sessions, project meetings, and collaborations with local entities, the Pride of the Lakes campaign was born to promote doing business local in Douglas County, MN. Through the creation of this campaign, I hope to not only make an impact myself, but also encourage others in our community to do the same. This campaign has made a large impact on my spending behaviors. Before, I would always order the things I needed online because of the convenience, but now I try to see if our local businesses have what I need first.
What I found out is that nine times out of ten, the things I need can be found right here. I also realized the great customer service that many of our businesses are willing to offer. The employees all go above and beyond to provide amazing customer service.
Alexandria truly does have everything we need. I encourage you as the reader to do two things. First, take a look to see what our town really does have to offer. Whether it’s clothing, food, gift items, services, etc., and second, take the pledge to do business local at PrideoftheLakes.com. This campaign has made a change in my life and it can make a change in yours as well!
Tammy Boushek is the Executive Director of Love in the Name of Christ (Love INC) in Douglas County, MN. Love INC is a national organization founded in 1977 in Michigan. It believes in helping people reach their potential and understand their value as created by God.
By Andrea Dwyer, Member Relations Coordinator, Alexandria Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce
In 2018 the Alexandria Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce website had more than 170,000 views. This means that your business has the potential to be marketed to and seen by all of these viewers.
When you joined the Alexandria Chamber, you received login credentials to access your online portal on our website. Logging in to your portal gives you control over what viewers see when they search for your listing or service.
To log in to your portal follow these steps: visit www.alexandriamn.org > hover over the Members tab > click Member Login > type in your login credentials and you are in! You can update your contact information, upload media, access your referral report, submit an event and more.
When you click on the “Update Your Contact Information” section you will be able to edit both the business and employee profiles. Once you are in that section, you can click “Edit My Profile” under the business section to add long and short descriptions, add key words and update general information. This gives you the opportunity to fully describe what your business or organization does or provides.
Also under the “Update Your Contact Information” section you will see a list of your current employees. Click “Add New Profile” to add an employee or to have someone removed from your account, click the drop down under “Relation Type” and change the status to “Former Employee.” Beside each individual employee you can click “Edit Profile” to change contact information, add social media and more. You can also set your employees up to receive Chamber communications so they stay up-to-date about what is going on in the community. Studies show that getting your employees engaged in their community is a great tool for retention.
Under the “Referral Report (YTD)” tab, you can see how many referrals your listing has received on the Chamber website within the year. This tool allows you to see which months were more active and plan your marketing strategies accordingly.
“Total Referrals” is the number of times your information was provided to or seen by a site visitor. “Total Impressions” is the number of times your information was displayed during the date range. “Total Leads” is the number of times a visitor clicked on a link or was provided with additional information about your business. Finally, the “Lead Rate” percentage represents the number of potential customers who are clicking specifically on your links and business information.
By taking advantage of your Members Only Online Portal, you have the ability to create a listing that will appeal to your clientele. Remember, always click “Save and Submit” after every change. All changes will be approved within 24 hours, with the exception of holidays and weekends.
Please reach out to us at the Chamber if you have any questions about your member portal. Call (320) 763-3161 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Steve Sedesky is owner of Quality Computer Services of Central Minnesota, LLC. It is a locally owned and operated sales & service company with 25 years of experience in computer repair and networking services.