Vermont is already known for Ben and Jerry’s ice cream and maple syrup, and it’s about to become known for one more thing: getting thousands of small businesses online for free.
Over the past few days, hundreds of small businesses have joined Google as the company launched Vermont Get Your Business Online, offering a free website and personalized domain for one year to any Vermont small business looking to create a web presence. Intuit is the sole provider of these small business sites, providing website design, website hosting, and website design services.
The event consisted of three workshops run by Google and Intuit employees, all focused on getting small businesses online. During the “Get a Free Website” session, small businesses walked in offline and walked out online, building and publishing their free website in under an hour.
Local event partners, including the Lake Champlain Regional Chamber of Commerce, Vermont Small Business Development Center, Vermont Center for Emerging Technologies, and the Vermont Fresh Network, came out to support and provide guidance to local Vermont businesses.
The day wouldn’t have been complete without taking in a breathtaking view of Lake Champlain from Main Street Landing and indulging in some favorite local flavors, including delectables from Skinny Pancakes, Mad Munchies, A to Z Cakes, Rhino, Speeder and Earles, and Sugar Snap.
Vermont was the second state that Google has brought this campaign to, hosting events in both Burlington and Rutland, and the small but mighty state is looking forward to the opportunities this campaign will bring. “They’re in danger of being left behind in a really competitive marketplace and uncertain economic times,” warned Bill Maris, managing partner of Google Ventures and Vermont native. “It’s really important and can give Vermont businesses a leg up in competing in a global economy.”