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‘Get Your Business Online’ Comes To Grand Rapids

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The downtown Grand Rapids skyline. WWJ file photo.

The downtown Grand Rapids skyline. WWJ file photo.

(credit: istock) Technology Report
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GRAND RAPIDS — Michigan businesses can get free tools and resources to establish a Web site, find new customers and grow their businesses when Google offers a ‘Get Your Business Online’ workshop in Grand Rapids at Grand Valley State University’s Pew Grand Rapids Campus on March 7.

The program is designed to help drive economic growth by providing an easy, fast way for Michigan businesses to get online. While 97 percent of Americans look online for local products and services, 59 percent of Michigan small businesses do not have a website or online presence.

Google is partnering with Intuit to provide easy-to-build websites, a customized domain name and web-hosting for one year. Participating Michigan businesses will also receive a listing on Google Maps.

Google’s ‘Get Your Business Online’ Workshop will take place Wednesday, March 7 at the Seidman College of Business at Grand Valley State University’s Pew Grand Rapids Campus, 401 W. Fulton St. There are two sessions, 10 a.m. to noon and from 1 to 3 p.m.

The Michigan Small Business & Technology Development Center (MI-SBTDC) is hosting the Grand Rapids workshop.

“Thanks to Google, small businesses in Michigan have a great opportunity to build or advance their business website and strategy for online marketing,” said Carol Lopucki, director of the MI-SBTDC. “We are thrilled to be partnering with Google on this tremendous program.”

The workshop helps businesses overcome preconceived barriers about developing a Web site.

“Michigan’s small business owners know the Internet is important, but setting up a Web presence can seem complicated, expensive and time consuming,” said Mike Miller, head of Google’s Ann Arbor office. “We’re here to show Michigan businesses that it doesn’t have to be that way.”

Without an online presence, small businesses are virtually invisible to many potential customers, so this is an enormous economic opportunity for Michigan businesses. The program will be available online for a year.

“As a leading provider of small business solutions, we have witnessed the growth small businesses have seen from getting online,” said Megan Bhattacharyya, product manager at Intuit. “We are excited to offer Intuit Websites for free to all the wonderful small businesses in Michigan and to help them create a customized presence that represents their unique brands.”

Those who cannot attend the in-person sessions can visit www.MichiganGetOnline.com to get a free website and more information.

For more information contact Jennifer Deamud at MI-SBTDC at (616) 331-7480 or deamudj@gvsu.edu.

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