Lincoln, Neb. -- Google announced Lincoln has been named the 2013 eCity of Nebraska, Monday. The eCity Awards recognize the strongest online business community in each state - the digital capitals of America. These cities’ businesses are embracing the web to find new customers, connect with existing clients and fuel their local economies.
“Our ‘e-City Awards’ recognize the new ‘digital capitals’ of America,” said Scott Levitan, Google’s director of small-business engagement. “We’re proud to recognize this growing entrepreneurial-spirit—and the role that it plays in both creating jobs and sustaining local economies. With 97-percent of Internet-users looking for products and services online, it’s clear that success is about being connected.”
"Small businesses are the backbone of our economy, and today, technology is playing a critical role in driving small business growth," United States Senator Deb Fischer said. “We need to encourage all business leaders, like those in Lincoln and many others across the state of Nebraska, to continue to use technology to innovate and succeed.”
Lincoln Mayor Chris Beutler credited the partnership and commitment between the public and private sectors for Lincoln’s success. “Every day, Lincoln businesses use online tools to share with entire world the amazing products and services they offer and the many factors that make our community unique,” he said. “Today’s award belongs to our residents and our businesses who are using the Web to make their lives and our lives better. We’ve got a lot to celebrate, but we aren’t resting on our laurels. We know the potential is limitless.”
Google worked with an independent research firm IPSOS to analyze the online strength of local small businesses in cities in all 50 states and Lincoln is among the ranks of America’s leading cities in the digital economy.
Nebraska businesses already know that Americans are turning to the Internet to look for local goods and services and businesses need to be where their customers are, and in 2013, that’s online. Yet, more than half of all U.S. small businesses do not have a website. Over the next 3 years, businesses that make use of the web are expected to grow 40 percent faster and are twice as likely to create jobs. With small businesses creating two-thirds of all new jobs, the potential impact of getting these businesses online is enormous. Google hopes that these “digital capitals” will become an inspiration to other areas—throughout the nation—of what can be accomplished by spearheading business development on the Web.
“When we started this business it was a small mail order company,” stated Ardith Stuuertz and Elizabeth Erlandson, owners of Licorice International. “Even after we created a website, the business would have remained very small except for the boost we got from Google AdWords. Today we are still amazed that we send out as many as 10,000 orders a year to licorice lovers across the United States and in 24 other countries. Lincoln is a wonderfully supportive city and the combination of the internet and a great local community has made all the difference for us,” they added.
Wendy Birdsall, President of the Lincoln Chamber of Commerce, added, “We are honored to add this Google e-City award to Lincoln’s long list of recent awards. Lincoln has a well-developed entrepreneurial eco-system that understands the importance of being wired and ready to do business across the globe.”