Google and the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry today announced they are joining forces to help get more small Australian businesses online.
The Minister for Small Business and Member for Dunkley, Bruce Billson MP, joined John Ball, Head of Small Business at Google Australia, Kate Carnell, CEO of ACCI and more than fifty local business owners for the start of the roadshow in Frankston.
Today's event was the first stop in a five city roadshow that will see Google and ACCI visit Australian towns to train local business owners on how to make the most of the internet. The internet can make a big difference to SMBs, but most are not realising the benefits.
Research by Deloitte indicates that Australian SMBs that are online are twice as likely to be growing, and four times as likely to be hiring staff. Yet less than half of Australian SMBs have a web presence (ABS). The Google and ACCI initiative aims to help change this.
Google also announced that it was planning to reach 350,000 small business owners in Australia this year through its network of more than 2,000 web experts, helping local businesses understand how to claim their listing on Google Maps, build information about themselves online and market to new customers.
The first stop on the roadshow also saw the release of new research by NERA (attached) into how the internet has changed the way small companies do business. The research found the internet is levelling the playing field for smaller businesses, giving them access to tools traditionally available only to large companies, like cloud computing and nationwide marketing.
Matt Bebe, cofounder of the Mornington Peninsula Brewery explained to attendees that online marketing had allowed the company to target not just locals but visitors from across Australia something that simply wasn't possible for a small business ten years ago.
Kate Carnell, CEO of ACCI:
- "This program will give small businesses the information, technology and encouragement they need to move online."
- "The internet provides small businesses with the unprecedented ability to reach more customers and achieve greater efficiency in ways that until recently were only available to their larger competitors."
John Ball, Head of Small Business at Google Australia:
- "Local business owners are the unsung heroes of the economy. They deserve our support, and by using the digital tools that are at their disposal they can give themselves a leg up."
- "Every small business stands to gain something from the internet. And because small businesses account for around a third of Australia's private sector economy, that represents a huge growth driver for Australia."
Bruce Billson MP, Minister for Small Business and Member for Dunkley:
- "I am thrilled to kick off the partnership between Google and ACCI here in Frankston, in my electorate. 98% of all businesses in Frankston are small businesses. Like all small businesses across Australia, Frankston's have a huge amount to gain from being online and finding new customers."
- "The internet is like rocket fuel for small business, it helps business owners show off their products, reach new customers, and grow."
- "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."
Matt Bebe, Mornington Peninsula Brewery:
- "I know how to make beer. But I didn't know how to get people to find us online, and that's where Google helped."