Google, Iowa secretary of state form partnership
It will help small businesses keep web presence updated
George C. Ford
Internet search engine Google and Iowa Secretary of State Paul Pate on Thursday announced a partnership to get the state’s small businesses on the map for consumers.
The partnership, launched at the Iowa State Fair, is designed to help small businesses grow their online presence by assuring location and contact information is up to date.
“Four out of five consumers use search engines to find local information, yet only 37 percent of businesses have claimed their listing on a search engine,” said Whitney Cox, small business outreach at Google, during a conference phone interview.
“Small businesses are the economic engine of local communities in Iowa. When they succeed, our communities do as well.”
Iowa Secretary of State Paul Pate said the partnership with Google is part of an ongoing effort to promote and encourage entrepreneurship in Iowa.
“Last year, we had a record number of new business filings in the state, surpassing the 20,000 mark,” Pate said. “This partnership with Google will help these businesses get online and reach more customers.”
Pate said Google’s Let’s Put Our Cities on the Map program helps businesses get found on Google Search and Maps, secure domain names and build websites.
Pate’s office is listed as an official partner of Google’s program. Businesses can find a link to small business resources on the secretary of state’s website, sos.iowa.gov, or at gybo.com/iowa-business.
Lisa Shimkat, Iowa director of America’s Small Business Development Centers, said representatives will be available in the secretary of state’s booth throughout the run of the Iowa State Fair to help business owners learn how to use the online resources that are available.
“This partnership is a great opportunity to show the strong collaboration within our state to bring small businesses the best assistance to help them grow and thrive,” Shimkat said.