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Santa Maria Valley Chamber of Commerce launches new program to help local businesses

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Posted at 6:50 PM, Apr 09, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-10 00:48:30-04

The Santa Maria Valley Chamber of Commerce has launched a new program called "Get Your Business Online." This program is aimed at small local businesses in hopes of helping them reach customers in multiple different ways.

As the pandemic surged, businesses had to get creative and many turned to social media for promotion, but that's not the easiest thing to do for everyone.

"We realized that a lot of the businesses who were not active on social media or online before the pandemic were really struggling to make the transition,” said Alex Castillo, Santa Maria Chamber of Commerce Events & Special Project Manager.

That's why Castillo said the Chamber decided to launch this new program.

Some of the key steps business owners will learn in the program include:

  • Creating & managing a Google business listing
  • Building a website
  • Building social media presence (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.)
  • Building a customer database
  • Selling online

"A lot of the smaller local businesses did not even have a way to reach their customers so there wasn't even an online database. They really relied on the walk-ins and word to mouth,” Castillo said, adding that having an online presence is essential.

"Basic entry point right? You know you have to have your store but you also have to have some sort of an online presence and those tools available and that's going to become just kind of a basic requirement moving forward,” said Glenn Morris, Chamber of Commerce CEO.

According to the Chamber, this program is free and isn't limited to one business sector. It will be tailored based on a business's specific needs.

“Now is the time to start pivoting and to move forward and recover from this and look for more of a hopeful future for our local business community,” Castillo said.

The Chamber adds that if there are businesses that would like a more in-depth opportunity, they are also working on doing referrals for local marketing firms and will be happy to connect businesses that way as well.

For more information on this program, click here.