Liverpool, Merseyside United Kingdom (PressExposure) December 22, 2011 -- Google's three-month drive to provide advice and support to small businesses in Liverpool has "surpassed" its expectations and helped more than 1,500 companies and entrepreneurs.
The initiative, launched by Matt Brittin, the managing director of the internet giant's UK operations, was the first of its kind in the UK and provided access to free access to one-on-one digital support, including a pop-up 'juice bar' and free e-skills workshops.
"There is a lot of untapped potential for small businesses on the internet and we hope that our project in Liverpool has demonstrated how a wide variety of industries can benefit from having an online presence," said Emma Thorn, project manager of Getting Liverpool Business Online at Google UK.
"It's clear from the people we've spoken to during our Getting Liverpool Business Online programme that there is huge potential for online growth in the city. We hope that the work we've done and events we've held help the hundreds of businesses we've met to grow and become successful online, and in turn help boost Liverpool's economy."
Google partnered with six business organisations - Liverpool Vision, Liverpool Chamber of Commerce, Downtown Liverpool in Business, Liverpool's Federation for Small Businesses, Women in Business and Business Link North West - to help run the events.
The company selected Liverpool to host the pilot as it "lags behind" many rival cities in its use of the internet for business, including Manchester, London, Leeds and Bristol.
Google said its juice bars have proved most popular with the retail sector, with almost 200 retailers seizing the opportunity to receive online advice. It added that there was almost an equal split of male and female entrepreneurs who sought e-skills advice.
Jonathan Paxton, managing director of cleaning equipment and garden machinery supplier Equipmart, said his business has already begun reaping the rewards of a better online presence since attending a workshop.
"After attending a Google juice bar in September I've changed the look and feel of the website and gained a great understanding of Google Analytics," he said. "The results have been fantastic and our sales have doubled over the last two months alone. I'd urge other businesses to get online - it can be the saving and making of your business."
Google said the Getting Business Online programme had proven to be a "clear success" in Liverpool and now hopes to launch the initiative in other UK towns and cities.
Other details about Equipmart:
Address: Kiam House, Birchill Road, Knowsley, Merseyside, L33 7TD
Phone: 0151 548 5500
Fax: 0151 548 5599