Google this month announced that five communities have received a Google eTown Award for 2013, celebrating the cities whose businesses are leading the way in embracing the opportunities of the Internet.
By Google’s criteria, these cities’ businesses are investing in online tools and resources to find new customers and grow their businesses to succeed in an increasingly connected world.
- Halifax, Nova Scotia
- Saint-Sauveur, Québec
- Newmarket, Ontario
- Canmore, Alberta
- Whistler, British Columbia
“We’re proud to recognize the growing entrepreneurial spirit in cities and towns across Canada,” said Chris O’Neill, Managing Director of Google Canada. “Every day, Canadians turn to the Internet looking for products and services, and it’s the businesses and communities engaging with consumers online that will lead Canada’s future economic growth.”
Google worked with independent research firm IPSOS to analyze the online strength of local small businesses across Canada. The software giant says that all of the winning cities “exhibited strong engagement and potential for growth within the digital economy,” reminding us that with the Internet, you can be a business of any size, in any part of the country, and succeed online.
Even today, though, more than half of all Canadian small businesses do not have a website. Yet according to a McKinsey study, businesses that are online grow twice as fast and hire twice as many employees as businesses that are offline. With small businesses employing close to 70% of the workforce in Canada and accounting for nearly 78% of all new private sector jobs, the potential impact of getting these businesses online is enormous.