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New Ventures: Website helps construction firms dig the dirt

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Screen shot of the dirt-doc.com website for contractors to find products and supplies.
Screen shot of the dirt-doc.com website for contractors to find products and supplies.

A 35-year veteran of the construction industry has established a website that he hopes will help solve a problem he often encountered on the job – how to find products when you're working in an unfamiliar area.

“You deal with a lot of the same people, but when you go out of the area, finding these places can be a problem,” said www.dirt-doc.com founder Steve Billman.

Billman said he launched the site as a more user-friendly alternative to Google, which often lists a lot of irrelevant information when searching for products such as concrete, asphalt or topsoil vendors, he said.

“This is very user friendly,” Billman said.

A user can look at a map of a region and use a key to determine the location of manufacturers and sellers. By clicking on the icons, contact information pops up.

Billman, based in Berks County, said his initial goal is to make the site a go-to guide for such products in the state, with the hope of expanding to surrounding states as the site grows.

The site is free to use for users and suppliers; he said he intends to support the site through the sale of enhanced listings and ads as he grows the business.

Visitors to the Hotel Bethlehem can grab a sweet gift while satisfying their sweet tooth.

The hotel has opened a new retail space called The Shoppe at Hotel Bethlehem in conjunction with the hotel's gift shop.

The shop will feature 12 flavors of Penn State ice cream, which are made at the Berkey Creamery in State College and picked up weekly by hotel staff.

The shop also will have a full coffee bar and a self-serve coffee station, with milkshakes added to the menu in the fall.

There will be limited indoor and outdoor table seating.

The ice cream shop will share space with Hotel Bethlehem's gift shop, with items such as accessories, jewelry, home décor and custom embroidery.

The new ice cream shop will have its grand opening Aug. 23.

A virtual marketing and public relations agency has opened in the Lehigh Valley. Based out of Center Valley, Rock Solid Marketing doesn't have a brick-and-mortar office, but instead links a network of communications professionals to help businesses put together marketing, branding, website development social media, video, sales literature and many other public relations needs.

“In order to provide clients with … services in a wide variety of disciplines, the company works as a virtual business, providing each client with a custom-designed marketing team of highly qualified, expert talent,” said co-founder and president George Santos.

Santos said clients then pay for the services as they need them.

For more information, visit www.rocksolidmktg.com.

Editor's note: We want to hear about your new business or product. Contact Stacy Wescoe at 610-807-9619 ext. 104 or send an email to stacyw@lvb.com. To be considered, a new venture should be fewer than 60 days old or starting within 60 days.

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Stacy Wescoe

Stacy Wescoe

Writer and online editor Stacy Wescoe has her finger on the pulse of the business community in the Greater Lehigh Valley and keeps you up-to-date with technology and trends, plus what coworkers and competitors are talking about around the water cooler — and on social media. She can be reached at stacyw@lvb.com or 610-807-9619, ext. 4104. Follow her on Twitter at @morestacy and on Facebook. Circle Stacy Wescoe on .

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