Business Buzz

Chad Frey
The Kansan

Chamber to host digital marketing class

At 11 a.m. Thursdays beginning on Jan. 28 and ending on Feb. 25, the Newton Area Chamber of Commerce will host a virtual series on digital marketing.

The series will be lead by Melisha Oakleaf-Wilson, a digital marketing consultant through her business, Sword & Ship Consulting, and will cover the following topics:

• Social Media Strategy & Implementation

• Content Strategy & Implementation

• Search Engine Optimization (SEO) & Websites

• Paid Search, Google Display Network & Paid Advertising on Social Media

• Auditing & Analytics

The cost to attend for Chamber members is $50 for all five sessions  or $12 per session if sessions are purchased individually. Non-members may participate for a cost of $60 for all five sessions. The series will be entirely virtual (via Zoom).

The registration deadline is Jan. 26.

For more information, contact Rachael Gibbons at or call 316-283-2560.

'Leadership Newton' dates set

The Leadership Newton Council has officially set the dates for this year's spring Leadership class. The class will meet from noon to 3:30 p.m. on Feb. 24 and March 3, 10, 17, 24 and 31.

Participants in the class will learn about and discuss various principles of leadership that they can apply to their everyday lives. The spring class will be taught by Scott Metzler, retired fire chief from Newton Fire/EMS, who has spent many years studying best leadership practices through the Kansas Leadership Center and other organizations.

The cost to participate is $125 for Chamber members, and $175 for non-members. Scholarships are available.

For more information or to register, contact Pam Stevens at

KDOL launches employer help desk

The Kansas Department of Labor recently announced the agency launched an Employer Help Desk to assist businesses with a variety of labor-related issues.

Dedicated operators will be available to assist employers during the hours of 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Operators will be able to assist Kansas employers with many general questions, including filing quarterly wage reports and unemployment tax returns, paying unemployment taxes, tax rates and how to handle fraudulent claims. Employers will also be able to submit applications for the Shared Work Compensation Program. Operators will also be able to assist in transferring employers to the correct KDOL division for additional help and guidance, if necessary. 

"We have been working to make KDOL more responsive to the public at every level,” said Acting Secretary Ryan Wright. “We have made significant improvements to the systems that interact with claimants and now we are improving the business-related systems so that business managers and owners have a more positive experience with the agency."

Since March 15, KDOL has paid out more than 3.4 million weekly claims totaling over $2.4 billion between regular unemployment and the federal pandemic programs. For more information, or to apply for unemployment benefits, go to

“Now more than ever, during this pandemic, employers need information to make decisions more quickly and efficiently,” Wright said. “There are so many opportunities to provide input through this service and create a more collaborative environment to give guidance and support."

To reach the KDOL Employer Help Desk, call 888-396-3725. The Employer Help Desk will not be able to assist individual claimants. Individual claimants should continue to call the KDOL Contact Center at 800-292-6333. For more information on the Employer Help Desk, go to