Google, ACCI team to get small businesses online

Internet helps local beer maker find new customers

Google has joined forces with the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI) to get more small businesses online.

Australian minister for small business, Bruce Billson, announced the partnership at a road show today in Frankston, Victoria, with more than 50 local business owners in attendance. Frankston is part of Billson’s electorate.

“The Internet is like rocket fuel for small business—it helps business owners show off their products, reach new customers, and grow,” Billson said in a statement.

“Small businesses are the engine room of our economy, and it is critical they have every opportunity to succeed—technology is increasingly a big part of this.”

Google said it planned to reach 350,000 small business owners in Australia this year through a network of more than 2000 Web experts who would help local businesses claim a listing on Google Maps, create a Web presence and carry out online marketing.

“Every small business stands to gain something from the Internet,” said Google Australia head of small business, John Ball.

“And because small businesses account for around a third of Australia's private sector economy, that represents a huge growth driver for Australia.”

ACCI CEO Kate Carnell said the program with Google “will give small businesses the information, technology and encouragement they need to move online.”

Matt Bebe, co-founder of the Mornington Peninsula Brewery said that online marketing had allowed the company to target visitors from across Australia for the first time.

“I know how to make beer,” Bebe said in a statement.

“But I didn't know how to get people to find us online, and that's where Google helped.”

Adam Bender covers telco and enterprise tech issues for Computerworld and is the author of dystopian sci-fi novels We, The Watched and Divided We Fall. Follow him on Twitter: @WatchAdam

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