Google is to launch an initiative aiming to get more Liverpool businesses trading online.
The scheme is to begin in the autumn and will run for three months, a series of events being held to show business owners the benefits of a web presence.
It will be the first event of this kind to be held in the UK and spotlights Liverpool as the city falling behind others in the country such as London, Manchester, Leeds and Bristol in its use of the internet for business purposes.
“The internet has created huge opportunities, but many business owners feel they don’t have the expertise they need to help their businesses grow online,” said Raja Saggi, head of small business initiatives at Google UK.
“This is the first time we have ever run a series of events aimed at helping one city, and we’ll be working hard with our partners to make a real difference to Liverpool’s internet economy over the coming months.”
“With Liverpool’s strong business networks and sense of community, we believe this is the best city to run such an initiative.”
The initiative is expected to feature in-depth workshops and large scale events, plus a mobile Google ‘Juice Bar’ which will travel to different locations around Merseyside offering individual advice and digital health-checks.
Google will work closely with local business organisations in order to spread the message effectively. It’s thought that the juice bar alone will reach over 1500 small businesses across the city.
Businesses based in the city can register here on the GBBO website for all events and workshops, as well as request a visit from the juice bar. Once registered, they can also set up a free website in “just 15 minutes” (apparently), and market it online.
Google says that businesses who have an online presence enjoy growth of four times those who don’t, and point out that 17p out of every £1.00 spent is done so online. That amount is only likely to increase in the future, too.
The scheme launches on September 14th at 4pm, beginning with an event held at The Camp and Furnace. The event will feature free advice, tips and technical consultation followed by canapes, cocktails and social networking of a more traditional kind.