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Connect Michigan Data Says Broadband Critical For Home Business Success

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(credit: istock) Technology Report
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LANSING (WWJ) – New data released Wednesday by Connect Michigan today shows that home-based businesses are more likely than other businesses in the state to use the Internet to buy products and services, research how to make their businesses more efficient, and interact with government offices.

On the other hand, some activities such as online conferencing, accepting online payments, and advertising current job openings are less likely to be used by Internet-connected home-based businesses.

“Home-based businesses are an integral part of the local economy, particularly in rural areas, by keeping wages and profits intheir community,” said Connect Michigan state program manager Eric Frederick. “Having a broadband connection allows residents the ability to start their own business, telework, and maintain a business without the overhead costs of traditional office space.”

Among the key findings from this report:

* Michigan home-based businesses use broadband at a similar rate as other businesses in the state. Of these businesses, 74 percent use broadband and 34 percent use mobile internet for their business operations.
* Home-based businesses are more likely than other businesses in the state to use the Internet to buy products and services, research how to make their businesses more efficient, and interact with government offices.
* One in five home-based Michigan businesses (20 percent) report that their employees attended a class, training, or workshop in the previous year to learn how to use some new technology, while nearly one in eight (12 percent) brought a trainer or instructorto the business to help teach employees how to use new technology.
* Across the state, nearly nine out of ten home-based businesses that use the Internet (87 percent) buy goods or services online. This represents approximately 33,000 home-based Michigan businesses that made an online purchase in the past year.
* Michigan home-based businesses made over 400,000 transactions with Michigan vendors annually that are worth more than $79 million in online purchases, and earned $2 billion in annual revenues from online sales.

To examine the landscape of broadband adoption and use among home-based businesses in the state, Connect Michigan conducted a survey of 800 businesses through a telephone survey, including 137 home-based businesses. The results indicate that many of these businesses use broadband for their daily functions and rely on it to increase revenue.

As the designated entity for broadband mapping and planning in the state of Michigan, Connect Michigan is a public-private partnership between the Michigan Public Service Commission and Connected Nation to work with local governments, businesses, and citizens in the goal of increasing broadband service in thestate’s underserved areas. For more information about what Connect Michigan is doing to accelerate technology in Michigan’s communities, visit http://www.connectmi.org.

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