Driving Local Economic Growth through Broadband

If you are not online, you are not relevant in an online economy

As businesses and communities look for ways to compete and flourish in a global economy, the Internet has the potential to be transformative – if used effectively. Unfortunately, a majority of businesses, especially small and medium sized businesses, do not understand what they could and should be doing online to grow.

Everyone knows more needs to be invested in building better, faster, more robust broadband to all businesses and households. However one thing is not as clear: that even with broadband there is a small business digital divide leaving too many behind. SNG’s research confirms what you may already know: a majority of small and medium sized businesses do not understand what they could be doing online to thrive – and should be doing to stay competitive and relevant in a digital world.

This is especially disconcerting as more than 90% of businesses are small businesses. Your local economy literally depends on your local businesses better utilizing the internet. See what the City of Highland, Illinois, did to help their businesses.

Small Business Growth Program

Small Business Growth Program LogoSNG’s Small Business Growth Program shows small and medium sized businesses the potential growth and cost savings of online practices. The program’s foundation is SNG’s years of measuring internet utilization impacts as well as the tens of thousands of businesses across North America that have reported their own impacts.

In an increasingly online world, businesses need to have the necessary digital infrastructure, literacy, and proficiency to realize the full benefits from online applications and new technologies. It is not just about being competitive, it is about staying relevant in an online economy.

Some businesses are proficient and comfortable with using technology and online applications – however SNG’s research shows that many are not. SNG measures the level of utilization with our globally recognized Digital Economy index scorecards. Empirical evidence that SNG has collected since early 2000’s shows that the higher the level of utilization the greater the economic and community benefits to the local economy.

SNG works with communities and regions to help their local businesses utilize digital technologies to better deliver services, to drive economic growth, spur new business startups, and expand workforce opportunities. These are proving to be big challenges. This is especially significant because if you are able to drive utilization in your region a modest amount will have significant impact on your region.

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The Small Business Growth Program (SBGP) is program is designed to help individual businesses take the specific steps they need to maximize broadband’s benefits for growth. In short, this program drives both economic development and network uptake.  The SBGP provides participating businesses with a scorecard containing recommended Internet-enabled applications to drive efficiencies and sales

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The Small Business Growth Program is a full-service program that creates local capacity to drive economic growth through broadband by providing organizations and businesses with a roadmap to tangible benefits from online practices. SNG’s Small Business Growth Program will drive subscribers and uptake, making your network sustainable in a shorter period of time. Just as importantly to your region, the Small Business Growth Program equips businesses in your region to compete in the digital economy, taking advantage of opportunities that create jobs and drive tax revenues. For regions that already have capacity, they may opt for the more affordable Small Business Growth Kit.

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If you wish to know more about the Small Business Growth Program or Kit, please contact us!