PITTSBURGH, April 11, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Google launched its Pennsylvania Get Your Business Online initiative with a two-day kickoff event in Pittsburgh Tuesday and Wednesday, where hundreds of small businesses attended free workshops on how to get online to grow their business.
With 56% of small businesses in Pennsylvania operating without a website, Google unveiled this program to drive economic growth by giving Pennsylvania businesses the tools and resources to establish a website, find new customers, and grow their business.
"We're excited by the enthusiasm of the small business owners who attended our event," said Soo Young Kim, head of Google's Get Your Business Online initiative. "They recognize that nearly all Pennsylvanians are now looking online for local products and services, and they want to tap into that vast market."
A wide array of small businesses ranging from sewer and drain cleaners to pet care providers and bakers attended the launch and received hands-on help from Google experts on how to create websites, advertise online and use other online resources to attract more customers.
"This is a great opportunity to collaborate with Google and its other partners to help small businesses establish and benefit from an online presence, which can increase their sales and grow their business," said Barbara McNees, president of the Greater Pittsburgh Chamber of Commerce. "Small businesses are the source of two-thirds of new jobs in America. A strong small business sector means a stronger economy. In the Pittsburgh region, we have both."
PennsylvaniaGet Your Business Online is an easy and fast way for Pennsylvania businesses to get online. For the next year, participating Pennsylvania businesses can go to www.PennsylvaniaGetOnline.com to get a free website as well as free tools, training and resources to help their business succeed online. 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.
U.S. Senator Bob Casey and Congressman Mike Doyle attended the launch event to meet with Google officials, local partners and small business owners about how increasing the number of small businesses online can expand the Pennsylvania economy.
"Small businesses are a major driver of job growth, so I'm thrilled that Google is helping Pennsylvania's small businesses get online," Senator Casey said, who had asked Google to bring the event to Pennsylvania.
Congressman Doyle noted, "I was impressed with the reaction from the small businesses attending these sessions, who are looking for every available tool to help them compete."