Today Governor Kitzhaber and Google announced in partnership with other Oregon business organizations a free two-day event to promote a program called "Oregon Get Your Business Online " an initiative that provides Oregon businesses a free website for a year and ongoing support to help drive economic growth for the state's small and emerging companies.
"Oregon's small businesses are the backbone of our economy and essential to our statewide recovery," said Governor Kitzhaber. "The stronger our small businesses, the stronger the state, and I'm pleased Google is partnering with us to help small and emerging businesses across Oregon access online tools that contribute to their success."
Oregon Get Your Business Online is an easy and fast way for Oregon businesses to get online. For the next year, participating Oregon businesses can go to www.oregongetonline.com to get a free website as well as free tools, training and resources to help their business succeed online. Google is partnering with Intuit to provide its popular Intuit Websites offerings for free including an easy-to-build website, a customized domain name and web-hosting for one year.
"Google has a large operation in The Dalles which supports quality local jobs," said Jill Hazelbaker, Google Director of Global Communications and Public Affairs. "We're excited to strengthen our partnership with the state to help small businesses learn how to better use online tools and succeed online."
The Event is in Portland on Monday March 26 and Tuesday March 27th. In addition to in-person technical support to get create and launch a website, there are three seminars offered throughout the day to cover the following topics: 1) Build your free website; 2) Grow your business online; and 3) Promote your business online. It is encouraged that participants register in advance but walk-ins are also welcome.
In addition to the Governor's Office, other partners include: Oregon Small Business Development Centers, Portland Business Alliance, Mercy Corps NW, Oregon State Chambers of Commerce, News Channel 8, Oregon Association of Minority Entrepreneurs, The Asian Pacific American Chamber of Commerce, The Hispanic Metropolitan Chamber, Oregon Native American Business and Entrepreneurial Network, Women Construction Owners and Executives, Oregon Micro-enterprise Network, Oregon Business Association.
Google opened a data center in The Dalles in 2006, which is now fully operational with approximately 140 people on site, ranging from technology assistants to experienced data center managers. Google's data center represents a $600 million investment in the Columbia Gorge community. Specifically, the data center is a specialized facility filled with computers and run by employees who maintain the machines and the building. The computers inside run some of Google's services like the Google search engine, Gmail, and Google Maps.
For more information about how to access the free website program, which is available online for the year, or more about the two-day event, technical support and workshops, go to: www.oregongetonline.com.