Dennis Dunlap, 55, who has recently been named managing director of Dunlap & Associates PC, said growing the company’s business means expanding its real and virtual footprint.
“We’ve been located and done business primarily in central and Lower Bucks County,” since the firm’s founding in 1999, said Dunlap, who lives in Bedminster Township.
Dunlap & Associates is based in New Britain Township, with an office in Quakertown.
But as he takes the reins from Larry Pickering who retired in September, Dunlap has cast his gaze northward to Upper Bucks County and the Greater Lehigh Valley for face-to-face customer growth and to the Internet, to increase and expand the firm’s virtual business.
With a public accounting career spanning 32 years, Dunlap is one of Dunlap & Associates founding shareholders.
“Opening our Quakertown office was the first step to increase our geographic (footprint),” Dunlap said.
Adding 2,000 square foot to the New Britain headquarters will give the firm room to grow its workforce, too. “We’ve had a good run of growth and we’re expanding our facilities. We were running out of space,” Dunlap said.
Offering financial services online through a virtual platform means taking traditional marketing and expansion concepts to a potentially unlimited web-based customer audience, Dunlap said.
The Virtual Bookkeeping and Outsourced Solutions, which is Dunlap & Associates web-based business accounting and finance service, may be used by anyone, anywhere in the nation or ultimately in the world.
“The idea is for clients with a local (presence) but they may actually be based in New Jersey or Florida,” or elsewhere, Dunlap explained.
Dunlap & Associates Virtual Bookkeeping and Outsourced Solutions provides accounts receivable and payable transactions, invoicing, check printing and bill pay, bank and credit card reconciliations, payroll handling, general ledger and trial balance help and monthly reporting and consultations, according to representatives for Dunlap & Associates. The service does not provide bill approval services, the Dunlap & Associates website said.
“With the ability to utilize technology, we can provide services to clients who are within our traditional area, or are in other states,” Dunlap said.
Dunlap & Associates offers individual and business accounting services.
Individuals may use Dunlap & Associates for tax planning and preparation, estate, gift and retirement planning services.
Business services and consulting includes tax, audit and advisory services for business owners, family business and start-ups, financial management, mergers, acquisitions, liquidations, payroll, Quick Books consulting, employee benefit plans, and more.
For information visit www.dunlap-associates.com.
A little more about Dennis Dunlap: A father of three children, Dunlap said he enjoys biking, kayaking and traveling. He most recently returned from a trip abroad visiting Switzerland, France, The Netherlands and Germany, with a stop in Munich to celebrate Oktoberfest.
Area chefs and caterers will be cooking up sweet and savory fare to share at the 11th annual 2016 Foodie, “Savour the Taste, Support the Cause” sponsored by Upper Bucks Chamber of Commerce, the area’s premier professional organization.
This year’s evening at Sands Chrysler Jeep Dodge on Route 309 in Quakertown promises to be a culinary sampling feast, packed with a visual, aromatic and savory adventure.
More than a tasting event (you won’t leave hungry or thirsty), sample the best our region’s restaurants, caterers, bakers, winemakers, brewers and distillers have to offer.
Also on the table is a chance at a raffle basket and a way to support two great leadership causes at the heart of the UBCC’s mission.
Proceeds from the event benefit Pennsylvania Free Enterprise Foundation Week and Leadership Upper Bucks. Pennsylvania Free Enterprise Week gives high school juniors and seniors a unique summer camp experience, in which they get to see what it’s like to be an entrepreneur and run their own business. Closer to home, Leadership Upper Bucks is a program geared toward skill development and practice, where participants have the chance to practice skills they learn on a company project and meet leaders in the public sector and private enterprise.
Be a sponsor, exhibitor, or a patron. All the details are available on our website at www.ubcc.org/foodie.
Calling on Sponsors: this uniquely positioned evening gets your message out to potential buyers in advance and at the event, as well as generates great public relations and networking benefits. Last year, we raised $15,000 for the free enterprise education of tomorrow’s young business leaders, by supporting Pennsylvania Free Enterprise Foundation Week.
Attention Exhibitors: get a chance to showcase your talent and gourmet culinary creations while promoting your business with the best exposure: a patron’s palate. What’s more your business receives publicity before during and after on our social media feeds and website.
Sponsorship and exhibitor deadline is September 23; don’t delay, call 215.536.3211, or sign up online today.
Patrons don’t miss out! From wings to soups, and seasonal beers whose names and flavors are a nod to the region’s local lore to terroir (climate, soil and conditions) Bucks wines and small craft spirits. Cap off the evening with pastry, cupcakes and other dainty sweets. Make sure you get in on the fun, call 215.536.3211 today for your tickets, or order online at www.ubcc.org/foodie before they run out.
Last year’s sold out event hosted over 300 guests at Sands Chrysler Jeep Dodge on Route 309 in Quakertown. It was our biggest, most well attended evening ever.
Where: Sands Chrysler Jeep Dodge, 501 N. West End Boulevard, (Route 309), Quakertown
When: 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 13
How much: Tickets cost $40 in advance, online or by calling 215.536.3211; $45 at the door, if available.
When you call Duke Transport expect the owner to answer your call.
Founded 10 years ago this past April, Duke Transport Owner Justin Moeser said he joined the Upper Bucks Chamber of Commerce in April 2016 with three primary reasons in mind.
“I wanted to begin more networking, to get my name out, and I wanted to get more involved in the business community and the larger community,” Moeser said.
Moeser operates his business with wife, Erin, who handles office management duties. “We don’t have a store front,” Moeser explained, “when you call you get to speak to the owner every time,” Moeser said.
Moeser began his business doing contract hauling for other businesses, but began transitioning about five years ago, to dealing directly with clients.
Duke Transport, named for “Duke,” the couple’s chocolate Labrador retriever and for the original trucking aspect of the business, Moeser handles landscape supply product and materials such as topsoil, mulch, and decorative or crushed stone. During the winter months, Moeser is a reseller of road salt to customers, including area school districts and municipalities.
Moeser also helps property owners with soil analysis, if their grass is in trouble. “I don’t do soil or sod treatments, but I do help with understanding what the problems are,” Moeser said. Moeser said he will send a soil sample to a lab for analysis, and then sit down with a client to decipher the report and help set up a remedy or action plan. The analysis comes with one complimentary cubic yard delivery of topsoil.
Moeser has 22 years of experience in the landscape supply business, first as an executive in a family topsoil business and for the past decade as owner of Duke Transport.
Moeser said customers often aren’t sure what they want, or know they have a landscape problem or challenge, but might not know how to fix it.
The pay off comes in taking the time to understand his customer’s needs, and then providing appropriate solutions. His approach makes for happy customers.
“Because I am the one that answers the phone, I ask a few questions to see what the customer wants. There’s nothing worse than buying something, having it delivered, and then looking at a pile (of something) you don’t really want,” Moeser said.
Duke Transport provides landscape product directly from the source, which allows Moeser to offer competitive pricing on larger delivery quantities. “I pass those cost efficiencies on to my customers,” Moeser said.
For more information or an estimate, call 267.640.1853 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Visit the website at www.duketransport.net.
We want to tell your story! Please contact Melinda Rizzo at email@example.com, or call 215.529.9845 to have your business featured on the Chamber’s Blog. It’s free to members, and one of the many member benefits we offer.
We asked several Upper Bucks Chamber of Commerce members recently “What’s your reason” for becoming and remaining a Chamber member.
The results confirm what we all know about the value of chamber membership.
From networking to education, connecting with potential customers and other business owners and operators, as well as being part of a nationally recognized (Chambers operate locally across the U.S.), professional organization, here are some of the “what’s your reason” responses.
For some, it’s about community investment.
“Being a member of the Chamber gives our business the opportunity to let the Upper Bucks community know we care. I believe that by being active in the Chamber our newspaper gets more and more readers who want to read about what’s going on in their backyard,” said Joe Wingert, publisher, Bucks County Herald.
Education is vital to professional growth. But what happens when you are a small business owner, without big budget dollars to spend on classes, seminars or to bring in professionals to work with staff members.
If you’re a sole proprietor, finding time and funds for professional development should be top of mind, but may not be top of list until a crisis occurs, or a trend forces you to learn something new.
“By joining the Chamber, it offers educational opportunities and resources in building one's business,” said Laurie Heuckeroth, branch manager for Penn Community Bank in Perkasie.
While education often isn’t one-size-fits-all, many Chamber seminars offer take away that works, regardless of the business size. There is something for everyone.
“The chamber … provides my business with an education link and seminars to help me advance my business goals,” said Any Recinos, owner, baker of Amy’s Creative Cakes.
Chamber events, activities and business hours offer a “warm call” way to connect with local business owners and professional services.
You might find your next financial planner at a business card exchange, or a travel consultant, banker or marketing professional at the golf outing. Perhaps your upcoming anniversary party blow-out needs a caterer. What better way to audition one, than attending or sponsoring the upcoming Foodie event October 13, at Sands Chrysler Jeep Dodge in Quakertown?
“The Chamber has different networking events that give members the chance to meet other members. By meeting other members we can refer business to each other and to others,” Heuckeroth said.
The Chamber isn't just about building one's own business, but it's about getting involved in the community.
The Chamber offers lots of ways for contact and community involvement, with several members listing this single benefit as one of their top reasons for being a Chamber member.
Chamber membership offers a place “to be connected with, and support, the local community,” Recinos said.
Jason Wehrung, president of Wehrung’s Lumber and Home Center and owner of Solid Products LLC, said his family-owned and operated businesses place a high priority on supporting the local Chamber.
Wehrung’s reason is “…because it's simply the right thing to do and a good business practice.”
Now it’s your turn.
Stop by, call email us or post on facebook and tell us, “What’s your reason?”
Where silent films reigned in the 1920s a bustling family owned and operated microbrewery invigorates Quakertown’s downtown.
Enjoy a Surf & Turf burger with aged sirloin, onions, crumbled bacon and shredded lobster, alongside a premise made glass of Gabi Wit beer or G’s Revenge.
The Proper Brewing Company, owned and operated by Brian and Kris Wilson, is the newest business venture to occupy the former Palace Theater, and it’s the latest addition to Quakertown’s restaurant line-up.
Onsite brewed beers with names like Blondie Bree and Panther Pale Ale are available as tasting flights, pints, growlers and bottles.
The building has long been a Quakertown staple and before The Proper incarnation was occupied by family-owned and operated Dimmig Electric, a home appliance store which closed its doors in 2012.
Kris Wilson said living in Quakertown and raising children here were ideal reasons to open a business.
“We love the community so we thought it was the best place to start our family business,” Wilson said of settling The Proper in Quakertown.
Giving back to a welcoming community of supportive local officials, community members and patrons means a lot to the Wilsons so they host community fundraisers and events.
“We will continue to give back as much as we can,” Wilson said of the couple’s commitment to Quakertown.
Continued economic vitality benefits everyone in downtown Quakertown, and Wilson said hosting events like a bike night, or bringing First Friday events to the downtown are on her to-do list.
But food and beer are the main attractions at The Proper Brewing Company.
Creating and maintaining a menu aimed at seasonal, sustainable fare is an evolving process, according to Wilson.
The new launch of spirits (hard liquor) at The Proper is targeted for August, although no other details were available.
Wines by the tasting flight and glass are also available at The Proper, as is a varied menu including snacks, pub fare and salads, inventive takes on classic sandwiches, burgers and more.
The Proper Brewing Company offers a dozen beers brewed on the premises, as well as banquet hall rentals and private party accomodations.
The Proper Brewing Company is located at 117 W. Broad Street, Quakertown.
For menus, beer descriptions and hours of operation visit www.theproperbrewing.com.
Perkasie’s “overnight” success story has been years in the making.
While downtown revitalization efforts may be more prominent now, years of planning and discernment have gone into the Borough’s current economic vitality and investment strategy yielding residents, business owners and borough officials results they can see, touch and feel.
From modernization efforts that never got off the ground in the 1970s to a catastrophic fire in 1988, that wiped out an entire block in the downtown, to national recognition last year for holding the oldest Christmas tree lighting ceremony in the country, Perkasie Borough is a small town, American innovator.
With the goal of creating prosperity, several elements came together. Local leaders built a comprehensive plan with the help of the Bucks County Planning Commission.
“We held public meetings to gather people together, and what people wanted, in Perkasie,” explained Stephen Barth, Perkasie director of economic development. Borough officials and planners took on a master plan process in 2013 to gather up a “wish list” from residents and community members.
A winning combination of strategic partnerships, local leadership and input from residents and business owners continues to gain traction and fuel Perkasie’s reclaimed vision.
Maintaining a walkable downtown business district with community support and patronage, ongoing sustainable economic development and an attractive small town community vibe, build upon Perkasie’s assets.
“Our number one goal was to rebuild the downtown. In order to create dynamic revitalization, you have to bring various groups together,” Barth said.
Stimulating interest from entrepreneurs, new business start-ups and attracting national and international firms, meant considering what makes a town appealing to investors.
For starters, borough officials slashed building and improvement permit fees by 50 percent. The result has been more than 30 new business openings, according to Barth.
The byproduct of lower permit fees has been a ripple effect, which spurred residents to “spruce up” their homes and properties, too. What looks good, feels good.
The American House at Perkasie, located at 7th and Market Streets and the Perkasie Commerce Center, are examples of new buildings resulting from partnerships with investors, Perkasie Town Improvement Association and the Borough. Apartments and retail are mixed-use hallmarks of the new buildings.
Attracting housing development is another gauge of interest in a community, according to Barth. When people are buying homes and locating somewhere, it’s because they see value in the community and want to be part of it.
Major companies such as Free Will Brewing Company attract visitors from out of town, and serves residents in the community.
“Free Will is a major player, and their headquarters is right here,” Barth said.
A new microbrew pub planned next door to Perkasie Borough Hall, located on West Chestnut Street in an historic building, is viewed as another dining option for visitors to the downtown. “The popularity of microbrews” is a larger national trend, playing out on the local level in downtown Perkasie.
Options to serve Perkasie natives, as well as new residents are part of the overall plan.
“We have about $100 million in new housing developments (underway), and a plan for a hi-tech center at the Pennridge Airport,” Barth said.
With new residents comes disposable income and with new business development comes investment and validation in the community and its infrastructure.
The Pennridge Airport development on Ridge Road is estimated to have 700,000 square feet of space under roof and is aimed at attracting high tech companies and jobs to the area. “Industrial space, high speed internet and a hotel and conference center” are part of the proposed plan, Barth said.
Barth said leaders are using a holistic approach to creating prosperity, and it’s working.
“We were told we couldn’t accomplish this much in 20 years, and we have done it in two,” Barth said.
For more information on Perkasie Borough log onto www.perkasieborough.org.
After years of working for someone else Lisa Strohm decided she could fill a niche financial advising services market, because she better understands their needs, priorities and challenges.
With more than 15 years as a financial advisor, Strohm opened her own office in December, 2015, with a women-friendly focus. Strohm is president and CEO of The Athena Network, financial and life management services based in Center Valley, Lehigh County.
Strohm believes women approach financial issues from a different position and perspective than men do, and therefore need a different approach.
“Women are juggling a lot of priorities,” Strohm said.
That means it’s important to take women’s values and priorities into consideration, when advising them about financial planning, savings and wealth management.
From raising children to suspending or igniting power careers, dealing with aging parents, death or divorce, women often shoulder the lion’s share of family life, while keeping their fingers on the pulse of household income, savings and investments. They may even be in a position of earning more than their life partners or spouses.
“Men approach financial planning with S&P 500 analysis and statistics, women don’t think that way,” Strohm explained.
“Statistically oriented and communicated results” can be intimidating to women, with the result of “alienating them,” Strohm said.
Her holistic approach takes into consideration where a woman is in her career and earning cycle, where her children and parents may be in their life journey, and how all the pieces fit together.
Beyond bank statements and investment reports, Strohm said offering added value means providing credible resources to her clients, above and beyond the investment picture.
Strohm provides resources and vetted services for such professionals as CPAs, estate planning attorneys, nutritionists, personal trainers, insurance agents, realtors, rental property analysis firms (for investors) and elder care services, among others. This slate of providers helps save her client’s valuable time with focused concierge services.
“These are (benefits) your typical financial planner doesn’t offer. I’ve done the due diligence for (my clients),” Strohm explained of her list of concierge options.
Lisa Strohm’s Take Away Tips for Women and Finance:
#1 Meet with the planner before signing. Financial advisors should be looking out for you and listening to your concerns and needs, not telling you about themselves and what they can achieve.
#2 Fee basis versus commission based- Strohm advocates fee based services over commission based ones. If financial charges for services are based upon a commission, proceed with caution, according to Strohm. Investments may be suggested because of the benefit to the advisor, because that is how he or she will be paid.
Strohm, who offers fee-based services, said her fee includes life management services. “At the least, planning and investment should be part of (the package),” Strohm said. When selecting someone to work with, Strohm suggested “go with your gut, it’s rarely wrong.”
For more information on The Athena Network log onto www.the-athena-network.com.
In an age of cell phones and text messaging, personal touch means everything.
For the new Quakertown Grocery Outlet owners and staff, that means face-to-face customer contact is the top priority.
“Customer service is our main goal,” according to Michael Anderson, franchise owner and operator with wife Vikki Anderson of Quakertown Grocery Outlet, the area’s newest grocery store.
The Andersons are bringing back such old-fashioned practices as helping customers take their bagged items to the car, and walking the selling floor to help patrons find items, and get their requests and suggestions.
The car service is extremely popular, “especially women with small children or older people, they really appreciate this service we can provide for them,” Michael Anderson said. He has personally helped load customer’s cars with their grocery orders.
The pair have set the customer service bar high. “I walk around the floor, and I talk to people every day. Our staff is friendly, and they want to help our customers,” Michael Anderson said.
Quakertown Grocery Outlet is committed to providing a great customer experience, offering brand name goods at deep discounts and giving back to the community in a variety of ways.
From a strong grand opening in April, Michael Anderson said a steady stream of customers is validating his business decisions, and despite working up to 16 hour days, the new store is the Andersons professional dream come true.
Housed in the former Sears Hardware Store at the Trainer’s Corner Shopping Center, located at Routes 309 and 663/313, the store has been transformed with bright LED lights, high ceilings, wide aisles, and a clean, fresh look.
Their business has created 36 new full and part-time jobs, many of which are being filled with first-time workers.
“We are teaching them (first time employees) how to work,” Michael Anderson said of his management and seasoned floor staff, as they take on new hires.
In addition to working the floor and running the business, Michael and Vikki also create special, free events - mostly for youngsters. A recent Mother’s Day craft featured artificial floral bouquets tots could easily make for gifts. An upcoming “Taste of Bargains” tables, spread out throughout the store, will feature items customers may sample to get acquainted with new tastes, especially organic products, Michael Anderson said. “We have some unusual products and wanted to give people a chance to try them,” Anderson said.
Special events like the “Taste of Bargains” when offered are held from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on a Saturday.
Community engagement kicked off at their grand opening, when the Andersons donated $1,000 of goods to the Quakertown Food Pantry, setting the tone for business and service organization relationships.
Located at 70 N. West End Boulevard, the store is a franchise of California based Grocery Outlets, Inc.
What’s in your tool kit? Credibility, check. Networking opportunities, check. Access to professional development for yourself and your staff, check. A way to get your message out to potential buyers and convert them into leads for your business?
If you are a member and support the annual 2017 focused Upper Bucks Chamber community profile and member directory, then double check!
What would it mean to have 10,000 business cards distributed across your selling region and beyond?
Buying an ad can do that, and more.
Did you know that roughly 60 percent of buyers trust a business, which belongs to its local Chamber of Commerce?
Those statistics are consistent across the country, because Chambers add value in lots of ways, both tangible and intangible.
Consumers are more likely to buy from Chamber Members because of their positive perception of those business owners and operators.
From professional development, leadership courses, webinars, special presentations from Small Business Administration affiliates, career coaching, SCORE mentoring and more, tapping into the Chamber is a way to amplify your business voice.
Advertising with the Chamber is a compelling way to be heard.
Created and produced by UBCC members, getting your business message into the hands of the buying public is as important to us, as it is to you.
That’s why the decision was made two years ago, to stop using a third-party package company in the Midwest, and to form a small committee and source the writing, photographs, page make up and production on a grassroots level, with members who are as invested in your success as their own.
An ad in the annual focused Upper Bucks County community profile and membership directory can reach new customers for you, all while you take care of business.
Production is underway for the 2017 focused Upper Bucks County community profile and membership directory. Be part of it today.
Contact Melinda Rizzo at 215.529.9845 or firstname.lastname@example.org to learn how you can be part of the next issue.
The right person for the job can make all the difference to a business owner’s bottom line.
But cash value isn’t the only thing employees bring to the table. Talent, skills and an authentic investment in the firm’s goods or services and corporate philosophy are soft skills often difficult to discern in a 20-minute interview, or while scanning an online resume response.
With over 70,000 job boards in the United States alone, finding the perfect job to worker match remains a challenge for most employers.
In the digital era of social media, hiring boards, Monster.com, the sheer volume of places a job seeker can look for work is often overwhelming, according to Jennifer Schultz, owner of Recruitment Queen based in Warminster.
“Advertising platforms have created too many sources,” Schultz explained.
Finding the magic blend of skills, character assets and drive still requires purposeful planning, advertising in the right places and interviewing to find the best candidate, Schultz said.
Narrowing the field to find more qualified candidates means targeting the search for workers and keeping an active pool of candidates at the ready.
Knowing where to look is half the battle. “Job seekers are so frustrated with the process, they pull out,” Schultz said.
Ask current employees for staffing recommendations, look to professional organizations or networking groups, connect with local chambers of commerce and pinpoint where best to find people from among the multitudes.
Reaching a target market might limit the amount of people but it increases the amount of qualified candidates, Schultz advised.
Some are desperate for jobs and will apply to most anything, even jobs for which they don’t qualify, Schultz said.
Targeted advertising and active recruiting- even when there are no current job openings - are in an employer’s best interests, according to Schultz.
So is transparency and making job postings easy to find.
Don’t hide the job postings, Schultz cautioned. “Often company websites hide their job postings, making them difficult to find,” Schultz said.
Capitalize on making available jobs easy to see on a website, and go the extra step. Promote work/life or flexible job options. “Who offers the most job security, who is the best company for those over 55, or for Veterans,” Schultz said.
Promoting your company’s assets and work environment to prospective employees, the way you would to customers or clients, is a perspective shift that could yield big results.
1) Be thoughtful about where you recruit, target your search.
2) Brand your company. What can you offer as an employer to attract and retain talent?
3) Tell your story. Think like a job seeker, and be convincing.
4) Have an open mind: Look beyond body art and tattoos. For a potential candidate with body art, can it be covered up during the work day? Can piercings be removed? Tattoos are so widespread, they shouldn’t be a deal breaker for a qualified job candidate,” Schultz said.
Upper Bucks Chamber of Commerce
An economic development agency for Upper Bucks County, Pennsylvania.
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