The State of Iowa is partnering with Google on an effort to help small businesses in the state grow their online presence and reach more consumers.
Secretary of State Paul Pate talked about the initiative today during a news conference at the Iowa State Fair in Des Moines. “What we’re doing through our office is we’re making this information available by linking up with the Google folks on our website, as well as encouraging businesses to look at becoming a part of this as a way to get their word out,” Pate said.
Whitney Cox, with Small Business Outreach at Google, says the program is called Let’s Put Our Cities on the Map. “We know that four out of five consumers use search engines to find location information, yet only 37 percent of businesses have claimed a listing on a search engine,” Cox said. “Through Google’s Let’s Put Our Cities on the Map program, we are working to change that by getting businesses the information and resources they need to verify their information on Google Search and Maps…and make sure that online information is accurate.”
Lisa Shimkat), with Iowa’s Small Business Development Center, is encouraging all Iowa business owners to take advantage of the online resource. “We don’t want a business to get left behind,” Shimkat said. “If you don’t have the right information out there, you will be left behind and it could impact your cash flow.” Pate noted that new business filings in Iowa are at an all-time high.
“We have over 200,000 businesses in Iowa and we’re really excited because this year we’ve seen a record number of new business filings which, to me, says we’ve got a growing economy,” Pate said. Business owners can visit the Secretary of State’s booth in the Varied Industries Building throughout the Iowa State Fair to get signed up for the program — or they can do so online at sos.iowa.gov.