State of California: California Launches Dedicated Small Business Portal Ahead of National Small Business Week

State of California: California Launches Dedicated Small Business Portal Ahead of National Small Business Week. “California’s Office of the Small Business Advocate (CalOSBA), part of the Governor’s Office of Business Economic Development (GO-Biz), today announced the launch of calosba.ca.gov – a website that connects California’s small business community with critical resources available through state-funded small business technical assistance program and other state resources.”

KGW: Fake review attack targets Portland businesses

KGW: Fake review attack targets Portland businesses. “KGW Investigates learned of at least twenty pest control companies in the Portland metro area that have received dozens of fake one-star reviews on their Google business profiles over the last year. The reviews were not left by unhappy customers with a gripe — they’re fake, computer-generated and designed to hurt a company’s reputation. The fake reviews have lowered the companies’ Google ratings, cost them thousands of dollars in lost revenue and tarnished the reliability of the rating system for consumers.”

Bismarck Tribune: New online local foods map launched in North Dakota

Bismarck Tribune: New online local foods map launched in North Dakota. “‘The new map catalogs the state’s local producers, the type of food they sell and where the consumer can buy it,’ Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring said. ‘The map is a great tool to connect with and support local growers and producers.’ The map also shows on-farm sales, roadside stands, community-supported agriculture, retail food businesses, u-picks, wholesale options, online ordering opportunities and more.”

SEO Roundtable: Google Local Result With Reviews From The Web & Independent Sites

SEO Roundtable: Google Local Result With Reviews From The Web & Independent Sites. “Google seems to be testing a new way of showing reviews in the local listing for some businesses. Brandon Schmidt spotted Google showing not just the number of reviews with the review summary in stars, but where Google labels if the reviews are ‘from the web’ or from ‘independent sites.’” Apparently you can’t click it, it’s just a piece of data. What’s the point?

The Verge: OpenTable adds a new ‘verified’ tag for restaurants to check vaccine status

The Verge: OpenTable adds a new ‘verified’ tag for restaurants to check vaccine status. “OpenTable is adding a new feature that will let restaurants tag diners as ‘verified’ for meeting entry requirements. The initial — and obvious — use of the verification feature will be for restaurants to log guests who are vaccinated for COVID-19, but the feature could also be used to do things like confirm a diner is of legal drinking age or other requirements for entry.”

Fast Company: Local food delivery companies say Google devastated their business

Fast Company: Local food delivery companies say Google devastated their business. “Say you live in Asheville, North Carolina (like I do), and you get a hankering for some of the city’s beloved BBQ. You might start with a Google search, which provides plenty of options. Clicking on a specific BBQ joint brings up a box with handy information such as a star rating, the address, business hours, and phone number. These restaurant listings, which appear in search and Maps, also often include an item called ‘Order,’ with links to big-name delivery services such as DoorDash and Grubhub. What you probably won’t see are local services like Delivery Now or Takeout Central—companies that were delivering meals a decade or more before the national giants were a twinkle in a founder’s eye.

The Lily: More places are requiring proof of vaccination. LGBTQ bars led the way.

The Lily: More places are requiring proof of vaccination. LGBTQ bars led the way.. “As the delta variant surges, a wave of LGBTQ bars across the country have been similarly prescient in their policies, requiring proof of vaccination for entry before or just after their cities implemented mask mandates and other precautions to curb the spread of the virus. LGBTQ people characterize the bars’ vaccine precautions as part of a legacy of activism to protect the health of LGBTQ people, adding that the requirements are also indicative of the important roles LGBTQ bars play as safe spaces within the communities they serve.”

Yelp Blog: Yelp Helps Businesses Communicate Vaccination Requirements

Yelp Blog: Yelp Helps Businesses Communicate Vaccination Requirements. “With the uncertainty surrounding the spread of the COVID Delta variant, we’re seeing an increasing number of businesses implement new safety measures to protect their employees and communities. To help consumers understand how a business is currently operating as pandemic guidelines continue to evolve, today, Yelp is announcing two new, free attributes – ‘Proof of vaccination required’ and ‘All staff fully vaccinated.’”

Hartford Courant: New Instagram series, by Gov. Lamont, will highlight state businesses across the state. First episode goes behind the scenes at Pepe’s Pizza.

Hartford Courant: New Instagram series, by Gov. Lamont, will highlight state businesses across the state. First episode goes behind the scenes at Pepe’s Pizza.. “Gov. Ned Lamont was taken behind the scenes of the famous Frank Pepe Pizzeria Napoletana in New Haven in the debut episode of ‘Made by Connecticut,’ a new Instagram series introduced by the governor, which will highlight businesses across the state.”

Search Engine Journal: How to Use GMB Posts & Facebook Events for Local Marketing

Search Engine Journal: How to Use GMB Posts & Facebook Events for Local Marketing. “Looking for new ways to market to a local audience? Google My Business Event Posts and Facebook Events are two great ways to get a little extra exposure. In this article, you’ll learn how to utilize Google My Business Posts and Facebook Events to gain extra exposure for your local business or clients.”

Pandemic redux: No, your workers aren’t coming back to the office (Computerworld)

Computerworld: Pandemic redux: No, your workers aren’t coming back to the office. “Listen, I know you want to turn the clock back. I want to turn the clock back, too. We all want to turn the clock back and change the world so that Covid-19 never came along. We can’t do it — nor can we pretend anymore that we’re over the coronavirus pandemic. We’re not. And that means work isn’t going back to ‘normal’— whatever normal means now — either.”