Canadian Manufacturing

Google offers free websites to small biz

Web giant says more than 1.2 million Canadian small and medium-sized businesses are shying away from the web.



TORONTO—Google is launching its "Canada Get Your Business Online" campaign that will provide free websites with a .ca domain, and free advice for businesses across Canada.

According to Google, as many as 1.2 million businesses in Canada do not have a website because they see it as too costly, too complicated or not necessary. 

The estimates come from a recent Vision Critical / Angus Reid Public Opinion study that also claims more than half of SMEs that currently operate a website attribute between six and 30 per cent of their revenue to their online presence. 

"Canada’s small business owners know the power of the Internet, because they use it every day as consumers; yet many are hesitant to create their own web presence," says Chris O’Neill, managing director of Google Canada. "These businesses are missing out on incredible opportunities that can help them realize significant profit growth."

According to Statistics Canada, more than 80 per cent of the Canadian population is online, and one in every five searches on Google has a local intent. Statistics Canada also reports there are approximately two million small businesses in Canada and based on a variety of market indicators, Google estimates that at least 1.2 million of them don’t have websites. 

About half of respondents to the study believe a website is an important marketing tool that can help a business realize significant growth, while 30 per cent say that at the very least a website will generate a slight improvement to a company’s bottom line.

"There are so many small business owners in Canada that are under the misperception that they can’t compete with larger companies; yet, the web allows them to do just that—it opens up new markets and levels the playing field so that everyone has equal opportunity in the virtual world," says O’Neill.

Googles Canada Get Your Business Online program is done in partnership withRogers, RBC Royal Bank, Canadian Internet Registration Authority, The Canadian Chamber of Commerce, The Globe and Mail, Yola, and Silver Lining Ltd. Visit www.gybo.ca. 

 

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