Websites free for Virginia businesses

Virginia businesses now have a new, easy way to get online, thanks to Google.

Working with local partners to design the program, Google has teamed with Intuit to provide its Intuit Websites offerings for free, including an easy-to-build website, a customized domain name and web-hosting for one year.

Virginia businesses participating in Virginia Get Your Business Online also receive a local business listing on Google Places and free tools, training and resources to help them grow and succeed.

Small businesses need to be online because that’s where their customers are, say business leaders. While 97 percent of Americans look online for local products and services, 44 percent of Virginia small businesses do not have a website or online presence. The perception that getting online is complex, costly and time-consuming has prevented many small businesses from taking the first step.

“Small businesses are missing out on a huge opportunity to reach new customers in Virginia and beyond,” said Scott Levitan, marketing director for Google. “Virginia Get Your Business Online will help make it fast, easy and free for Virginia businesses to get online.”

Businesses can get online either through Virginiagetonline.com, or in person through a series of Google-hosted events throughout the state. In Richmond, the events will be held September 23 and 24 at Centerstage. The program will be available online for a year.

Among the organizations that have worked with Google and Intuit on the project are Meetup, SCORE, the Greater Richmond Chamber of Commerce, the Retail Merchants Association, the Virginia Hospitality and Travel Association, the Virginia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, the Virginia Asian Chamber of Commerce, RichTech, and the Hanover Association of Businesses and Chamber of Commerce.
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