Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Ohio Hispanic Chamber collaborates to offer free websites for small businesses

Google's Ohio Get Your Business Online program makes it easy for Ohio businesses to grow

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Google is announcing Ohio Get Your Business Online. Google worked with local partners to design the program, which will help drive economic growth by giving Ohio businesses the tools and resources to establish a website, find new customers, and grow their business.

Ohio Get Your Business Online is an easy and fast way for Ohio businesses to get a website. Google is partnering with Intuit to provide its popular Intuit Websites offerings for free including an easy-to-build website, a customized domain name and web-hosting for one year. Participating Ohio businesses also receive a local business listing on Google Places and free tools, training and resources to succeed online.

Small businesses need to be online because that's where their customers are. While 97% of Americans look online for local products and services, 50% of Ohio small businesses do not have a website or online presence. The perception that getting online is complex, costly and time-consuming has prevented many small businesses from taking the first step.

"Small businesses are missing out on a huge opportunity to reach new customers in Ohio and beyond," said Sam Sebastian, Director, Local & B2B Markets for Google. "Ohio Get Your Business Online will help make it fast, easy and free for Ohio businesses to get online."

"As a leading provider of small business solutions, we have witnessed the growth small businesses have seen from getting online," said Ralph Matlack, Group Product Manager at Intuit. "We are excited to offer Intuit Websites for free to all the wonderful small businesses in Ohio and to help them create a customized presence that represents their unique brands."

"Every day we see more and more people realize that meeting face-to-face to collaborate is by far the best way to get things done," said Mary Telesco, VP of Meetup. "There are thousands of Small Business Meetup members helping each other succeed every day by connecting with one another, in-person. That is exactly why we are thrilled to partner with Google on this initiative -- small business owners getting online together is better than going at it alone!"

"Small businesses need to use every tool in the toolkit these days to remain competitive," said Karen Shauri, Director of the Ohio Small Business Development Centers. "A website is one of the most basic tools for Ohio's small businesses and we are ecstatic to partner with Google to help Ohio businesses make the jump online."

Businesses can either get online through, or in person through a series of Google-hosted events throughout the state.

The first of several events for small businesses will be held on Tuesday, September 27 and Wednesday, September 28 at the Columbus Convention Center. Subsequent events will be held across the state: Lima on September 29; Bowling Green on September 30; Dayton on October 4; Cincinnati on October 5.

Businesses across Ohio who cannot attend the events can visit to quickly and easily get online today. The program will be available online for a year.

Ohio Get Your Business Online is made possible by Google in partnership with Intuit, Meetup, American Small Business Development Centers, SCORE, Ohio Small Business Council, Ohio Council of Retail Merchants, Ohio Small Business Development Centers, TechColumbus, Center for Entrepreneurship at Fisher College of Business, Columbus NAACP, Ohio Hispanic Chambers of Commerce, Hispanic Chamber of Columbus, Columbus chapter of the National Association of Women Business Owners, Network Columbus, Asian-American Commerce Group, Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce, Northwest Ohio Regional Economic Development, Ohio Department of Development-Minority Business Enterprise Division, Cincinnati Regional USA Chamber, Cincy Tech, Lima/Allen County Chamber of Commerce, Rhodes State College/SBDC.

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