Gov. Branstad and Lt. Gov. Reynolds today announced a state partnership with Google that will assist Iowa businesses in establishing an online presence. This Google-led program, called "Iowa Get Your Business Online," is dedicated to driving economic growth by providing local Iowa businesses the tools and resources to get online and grow and expand by providing a free and easy-to-build professional website, a free customized domain name and hosting for one year, a local business listing on Google Places, free tools, resources, and trainings.
Google has partnered with several organizations to make this endeavor possible, including the Iowa Partnership for Economic Progress, Iowa Association of Business and Industry, the Iowa Small Business Development Center, the Iowa Chamber Alliance and numerous other educational and entrepreneurial programs across the state.
"While 97% of people research local products and services online, 59% of small businesses in Iowa do not have a website," said Branstad. "This new initiative is aimed to grow business in Iowa and will help Lieutenant Governor Reynolds and I achieve our goal of creating 200,000 new jobs for Iowans."
Google and its partners will be hosting a series of events over the next few weeks to get small businesses online. Small business owners that are interested in obtaining a free website can attend the Google events in the Des Moines area on September 12th and 13th, in Council Bluffs on September 15th, in Waterloo on September 16th and in Pella on September 30th.
"One of the best ways we can help small businesses and the economy is to help Iowa businesses increase their visibility online," said Reynolds. "This enables them to find new customers and sell more products and services. Google chose to invest $600 million dollars in their state of the art data center in Council Bluffs because it continues to be a center of commerce. As part of their ongoing commitment to Iowa, they have decided to bring this event here and help Iowa businesses grow."
Google and its partners will be coming to other cities throughout the state in the coming months. More information on how to sign up can be found at www.IowaGetOnline.com.