WV's small businesses ready to establish online presence - Business, Government Legal News from throughout WV

WV's small businesses ready to establish online presence

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Small businesses across West Virginia are ready to get innovative and establish an online presence.

Representatives from more than 150 businesses gathered in Charleston March 19 to take part in Google's "Get Your Business Online" workshop. The program is dedicated to helping spur economic growth by providing small businesses with the necessary tools and resources to get online, according to a news release from Sen. Jay Rockefeller's office. Rockefeller, D-W.Va., is the chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee.

"Small businesses are the economic engine of our state," Rockefeller said in joint remarks with Google Director of Small Business Engagement John Ploumitsakos. "But many of them are lacking a true Internet presence. We're here to change that, and see that West Virginia leads the way in online commerce."

The 150 businesses represented made this workshop one of Google's most successful. The Internet giant hosts these workshops across the country.

"This event clearly shows the pent up demand by West Virginia businesses to establish an online presence and compete and thrive in the online marketplace," Rockefeller said. "I'm excited that Google is going to be able to help our businesses enter this critical marketplace. This is a wonderful event, and I'm thankful Google is partnering with us."

Small business representatives work with Google staff to learn how to use professional templates to create and publish a website in less than 30 minutes. Google provides a free, easy-to-build website, a free customized domain name and web hosting for a year, a local business listing and other free tools and resources.

Rockefeller, who late last year announced the availability of broadband Internet access to some areas of rural West Virginia, said such services are necessary for business.

"For more than 15 years, I have worked to develop a nationwide strategy for universal access to high-speed Internet- both wired and wireless, particularly throughout West Virginia," Rockefeller said. "We have reached a new era where high-speed and wireless Internet service is now essential for our health care system, our educational opportunities, and our economy—especially in rural areas like West Virginia."


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