Google, SBA Partner on Business Technology Training
Search giant Google and the U.S. Small Business Administration
announced a partnership to boost small businesses across the country,
starting with a press conference and Webinar
to unveil an array of online resources, tools and training designed to
help small business owners harness technology to grow their businesses.
The Webinar is scheduled to begin today at 11 a.m. EST.
The public and online forum will feature the release of "Tools for Online Success," an array of technology and trainings designed to help small businesses become more efficient, more cost-effective and more successful. The event and related discussion will also feature the release of new videos featuring the stories and successes of real, small business owners describing how technology and guidance from Google and the SBA have helped them to succeed in the marketplace.
Moderated by Karen Mills, the SBA administrator, today's event will feature John Hanke, vice president of product management at Google, as well as Susan Holt, principal and owner of CulinAerie, a Washington, D.C.-based small business. Holt will share her experiences working with the SBA and using online tools such as Google Places and SEO (Search Engine Optimization) to improve and grow her business.
One of the small business owners featured in the videos, Sean Vahey of Humphry Slocombe Ice Cream in San Francisco, described how the company's online presence has boosted business. "I don't have a lot of time to do marketing, I don't have a lot of time to sit down and reach out to people," Vahey said. "I'm able to get on the computer and two minutes later I've gotten the word out. Google Place page is important because it's got all of our information in one spot - our Website, our phone number, you can see where we are on a map, and you can even get directions."
In April, President Barack Obama signed legislation providing $80 million in additional funding to continue enhancements in the SBA's two small business loan programs. The enhancements, first made available under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, include a higher guarantee on some SBA-backed loans and small business fee relief. The SBA estimated the $80 million would support about $2.8 billion in small business lending.